Following the huge controversy over the shortage of sand supply in Andhra Pradesh, the state government on Monday announced that it will provide door-to-door delivery of sand to consumers. The move will be piloted in Krishna district from January 2, and slowly expanded to all 13 districts of the state by January 20. The Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC) will be responsible for the door delivery of the sand.
Speaking to media, Panchayati Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy said that the daily consumption of sand in the state is about 80,000 tonnes, and that so far, 9,63,000 tonnes of sand has been stored. For the next four months, the APMDC will store about 15 lakh tonnes of sand every month, the Minister said. About 60,000 lakh tonnes of sand will also be stored for the upcoming rainy season as well.
Ramachandra Reddy also announced that of the total 444 check posts previously planned in the state, about 55 check posts in three to four districts were found to be unnecessary. The Minister stated that the construction of most of the remaining 381 check posts has been completed. An APDMC command control room will be set up to keep track of sand supply vehicles, with the Chief Minister camp office having remote access to the control room.
Claiming that the YSRCP government is working on the transparent supply of sand without harming the environment, the Minister said that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) would be invited to show how the new sand policy is environment-friendly. Earlier, during the TDPâ€™s term, the NGT had slapped an interim penalty of Rs 100 crore for the state's 'inaction' in preventing mining. This was later stayed by the Supreme Court.
After the YSRCP government came to power in May, sand supply was halted for three months, until the new sand policy was formulated. Even after its implementation from September, construction activity in the state remained stagnant due to sand shortage.
On being forced into unemployment for several months, several construction workers across the state allegedly took their lives. As many as 11 workers were reported to have died from suicide allegedly due to their poor financial situation after months of unemployment. Opposition parties led several protests on the issue, demanding better supply of sand and compensation to the families fo suicide victims and the workers.