In an attempt to curb illegal sand mining in Dakshina Kannada, authorities in the coastal district have set up an online sand booking and monitoring system for delivering sand.
The website, SandBazaar (www.dksandbazaar.com), launched about a month ago and has listed over 100 licensed sand miners alongside the tariff chart and their modes of operation.
With the message, 'From shore to every door', buyers can book, track and get the sand delivered. The portal, which can also be accessed through an app, is operated by the District Sand Monitoring Committee (DSMC) and the sand is transported either from Mangaluru or Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada district.
To get sand delivered, buyers have to visit the website, secure the login credentials with Aadhaar, which in turn will generate a six-digit OTP. Subsequently, the buyer has to specify the quantity, quality and the address where the sand has to be delivered.
Speaking to reporters, Deputy Commissioner Sasikanth Senthil said that the portal will help maintain and provide facilities to genuine dealers and procurers of sand. "It will also disable arbitrary pricing of sand by the intermediaries and other kind of irregularities, and enable smooth operation of civil and commercial construction of work,” he said
Meanwhile, intimation is generated both to the permit holder and the transporter of the respective area. The transporter who has 'accepted' to pick up the order will show the order to the concerned 'permit holder' to authenticate the loading of the sand.
According to the officials, the sand transportation trucks are required to be GPS enabled. It will now be using the internet-based app, which will be directed to the delivery point of the sand. The DSMC can issue warnings to the truck drivers for delay in delivery, for repeated delays or poor coordination. It can even suspend or blacklist their services.
At the time of writing, the website had received about 62 orders out of which 43 were in process. Nineteen orders had already completed their delivery trips. At present the cost per tonne of sand is pegged at Rs 3700, which is not inclusive of transportation charge (Rs 2000 for first 20 kilometers) and additional cost of Rs 50 per kilometre and other miscellaneous charges.
While at present Google play store hosts PermitHolder-SandBazaar and VehicleOwner-SandBazaar, two separate platforms for stakeholders, officials say there is a plan to integrate the two on the same platform, along with a separate panel for ‘buyers’.
At its pilot stage, this has been implemented in the Mangaluru CRZ limits. The service will be expanded across the district soon.
Story by Story Infinity (Subs and Scribes Media Ventures LLP)