Hitting two birds with one stone, the Andhra Pradesh government has launched an initiative and is entrusting sand mining to women self-help groups. This is also supposed to combat the thriving sand mafia in the region.


The drive called ‘Pedarikam pai gelupu’ (victory over poverty) drive will hopefully make sand available at a reasonable price to customers. Initially launched in the East Godavari district under the new Sand Mining Policy-2014, the success seen buy the project motivated the government to spread it across the country.


According to a report by Business Standard, out of the 1.9 lakh cubic metres of sand extracted under the supervision of women SHGs, 40,000 cubic meters has already been sold. The project has by far earned Rs 2.95 crore. Out of this, 25 % will go to the women self-help groups and the rest of it will go to the FEC, which will help them in undertaking other programmes for the agricultural sector.


[Picture Courtesy: Gult Post]

Business Standard reports that previously, amongst the 81 identified sand reaches, including 11 inter-state sharing sites, in Andhra Pradesh, were allotted to private contractors through auction and through draw of lots. After forming a cartel and ensuring the reaches fell in their own hands, the contractors made the sand prices shoot up to amounts as high as Rs 24,000 per tonne. As a result, this escalated the cost of building construction across the state.


ORIGINAL SOURCE: Business Standard