Punjab cabinet has approved New Sand & Gravel Policy on 17 October 2018 to curb illegal mining and boost revenue. This policy will bring further transparency in the sand mining business. Department of Mining would launch an online Punjab Sand Portal for sale of sand to all consumers. All the contracts will be granted by auction of mining blocks in strategically established clusters through progressive bidding.
At Punjab Sand Portal, all transactions / payments will be captured through an online real-time monitoring system. New policy specifies the quantity of sand and gravel which would be called “Annual Concession Quality” which a bidder is allowed to mine in 1 year.
Both sand and gravel shall not be sold at the mining site for more than Rs. 9 per cubic feet and max. rates linked to a distance will be notified soon including cost of loading of the vehicle.
Punjab New Sand and Gravel Policy – Online Sand Portal to be Launched
As per the reports, it was earlier decided that a new policy would come into force in 2 months after cabinet approval for Punjab State Sand and Gravel Policy 2018 and amendment to Punjab Minor Mineral Rules 2013. Previously, auction process was carried out by the individual mines in Punjab but now the auction will be organized in strategically established clusters and contracts will be given on the basis of progressive bidding. This move will raise the royalty receipt of state exchequer, provide adequate supply at fair price to consumers and curb illegal mining.
Only registered companies, partnerships, societies, sole proprietorship, individuals and consortia of upto 3 such entities would remain eligible to bid subject to fulfillment of terms and conditions. The average annual turnover of the bidder for the duration of last 3 years ending 31st March must not be less than 50% of reserve price of the mining block for which he is placing bid. In case of consortium, the combined technical and financial capacity of all the members will be considered for eligibility.
Punjab Sand Portal would control the sale of sand to consumers by electronic documentation with modern facility and the daily progress report would be uploaded on the portal. In the new policy, the mining rights of concession quantity of sand and gravel in mining block would be put to bidding through transparent e-auction process.
Bidder needs to ensure that site managers, JE level officers and software professionals must remain present at all mines. Bidder should obtain or hire the machinery for mining block he plans to bid for and policy contains details of machinery required for different capacity of mines. New policy will specify Annual Concession quantity which is allowed to be mined from a block in a single year.
The concessionaire will identify mines in the allocated block, obtain consent of land owners, arrange for infrastructure requirements before the starting of mining operations. In case the mining is to be done in a river bed, then concessionaire need to intimate Chief Engineer Drainage seven day in advance before a mining activity is to be carried out. This is to be done so that mining doesn’t affect the flow of river or damage embankments. To provide environment & other clearances in a timely manner, Executive Engineer at the Headquarter would act as a nodal authority.
To regularly check overpricing of sand and gravel, a cap has been put on their sale price. Both sand and gravel shall not be sold at the mining site at more than Rs. 9 per cubic feet and max. rates linked to a distance that can be charged for each cubic meter will be notified soon. This price includes cost of loading of the vehicle. Concessionaire will hold the responsibility to dispatch sand and gravel through only those transporters who agrees to transport it at notified or less rates.
It is mandatory for concessionaire of each block to notify rates of sand on the new portal to be launched by the department. Even the summary of online order and quantity of available sand at mine would be present on the portal. Any person can book online orders through divisional mining office or sub divisional mining office. The state govt. would soon launch android mobile application for this purpose. All vehicles which are used in transportation of sand would also be registered on the sand portal.
Weighting slips for transportation of sand will contain features of barcodes, QR codes which will be stamped with date & time and vehicles would be tracked with the GPS / RFID tags. All mines will be geo-tagged while performing physical inspections and even the boundaries of mines would be checked using GPS coordinates. This would help in checking whether any mining activity is ongoing outside the permitted area. All the mines which are recently auctioned will continue to operate till their tenure completes.
Source : http://punjab.gov.in/web/guest/key-initiative?view=show&pp_id=31118