The district administration opened five sand reaches from Friday. District Collector I. Samuel Ananda Kumar said that sand would be made available at a nominal cost on a first-come-first-served basis. Those requiring sand should submit applications at the local MRO offices and after collecting receipts, should collect sand at the sand reaches.
The decision to vest the responsibilities of allocating sand to District Collectors has come in the wake of allegations of large-scale irregularities in selling river sand during the previous government. It is estimated that the sand availability in district is 20 lakh cubic metres.
After studying the existing sand policy, the state government has come out with a new sand policy. Sand will be made available on a priority basis to housing projects taken up by the State government, to those constructing their own houses, to government projects and finally to those constructing high rise apartments.
Applicants have to submit the applications at the local MRO offices and a cell consisting of local MRO, VRO and panchayat secretary would scrutinise the applications and send them to office of the District Collector. After final scrutiny, the applicants would have access to the sand. The present charges are ₹300 per tractor and ₹30 per loading charges. The Collector also instructed the police personnel to stand on guard at the sand reaches from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. to see that no one is illegally diverting the sand.
Sand is made available at five sand reaches in Kollipara and Kolluru mandals. In Kollipara mandal, sand is available at Pattabhimunivanipalem, Pidapatlivanipalem, Athotavaripalem, while Gajulanka and Epuru villages in Kolluru mandal have sand reaches. The total sand availability in these reaches is 2.09 lakh cubic metres.