Karnataka takes steps to curb use of river sand
news Sunday, June 08, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | June 7, 2014 | 12:49 AM IST The Karnataka government on Friday decided to encourage increasing use of manufactured sand in construction activity to curb illegal sand mining across the state. "To conserve riverbed sand and protect the environment, we will educate the people to use manufactured sand or robo sand from stone crushing in construction activity, as it has more silica than natural sand," Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra told reporters here. Though about 700 stone crushers are operating legally in the state, Jayachandra said the government would invite entrepreneurs to set up more such crushing units to prevent undue exploitation of riverbed sand. "We will identify places in the state with potential for stone crushing to produce more Robo sand. We are also developing software to provide information online on availability of manufactured sand in the state," he said. The state government has also directed the public works department to use more Robo sand in the construction of state projects, be it roads, highways, irrigation canals and buildings. "While demand for sand in construction works is estimated to be about 20 million tonnes per annum, only nine million tonnes of riverbed sand is available across the state. Robo sand is able to meet around 15 percent of sand demand for construction activity," Jayachandra said. The state government has also introduced a special security paper to curb duplication of permits used in illegal sand mining. "We are using radio frequency identification device (RFID) to track movement of trucks carrying river sand through 360 check-posts across the state for drying and selling to end-users," PWD Minister H.C. Mahadevappa said at the joint press meet. Citing the example of Maharashtra, where Robo sand was being used for 80-90 percent of construction, Mahadevappa said demand and supply of the manufactured sand would be made available on the department's website daily. "Robo sand is equally suitable for construction except for plastering," Mahadevappa added
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