Ludhiana, February 8
Ludhiana district logged the second highest sale of sand at concessional rate from public mines opened by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann during the first three days of operations.
Not only sand is now available at Rs 5.5 per cubic foot at the mines, prices in the open market have also reduced as a ripple effect. The development comes when the prices had been sky high for the past almost a year, dealers in construction material said.
Consumers who were forced to shell up to 10 times of the controlled rate for sand till the opening of the public mines have now heaved a sigh of relief.
A senior government functionary told The Tribune here on Wednesday that the public mines had been opened at three different sites in the district, which were located at Gorsian Khan Mohammad, Jamalpur Laily and Sujatwal, and Dhanasu / Bhukhri Khurd.
While the public mine at Gorsian Khan Mohammad, which was formally inaugurated by the Chief Minister on Sunday, had sold 621.4 metric tonnes (MT) of sand, another 1,560.4 MT of sand had been extracted from the Dhanasu/Bhukhri Khurd mine. However, no sand had yet been sold from Jamalpur Laily and Sujatwal public mine till February 7.
While Gorsian Khan Mohammad public mine site is spread over 24.69 hectares, Dhanasu/Bhukhri Khurd site covers 5.83 hectares of land area. The third site at Jamalpur Laily and Sujatwal has an area of 3.77 hectares.
The environmental clearance obtained by the state government has limited the sanctioned quantity of 10,79,941 MT sand extraction at Gorsian Khan Mohammad public mine, while the other two sites can sell 68,000 MT at the Jamalpur Laily and Sujatwal and 21,000 MT at the Dhanasu/Bhukhri Khurd public mines.
“We have appointed an executive engineer-rank officer as the in-charge of each mine, which has also been put under 24x7 surveillance through CCTVs to ensure transparent operations and avert any possibility of unfair trade practice,” the functionary said, informing that the mines were operational between 7 am and 5 pm daily.
This timing is to be further enhanced from April 1 when the operations will be carried out from 6 am to 7 pm daily till September 30 every year.
Among other districts, Fazilka has been on the top spot in the state, with the maximum sale of 3,017.92 MT sand during the first three days, followed by Tarn Taran 1,055.22 MT, Ropar 382.64 MT and Nawanshahr had so far extracted 1,765.4 MT of sand from February 5 to 7.
However, Mohali district had not yet sold any sand from any of its three public mines.
The CM had launched 16 mines spread across six districts in the state on Sunday.
Sand was being sold at up to Rs 55 per cubic foot (coarse) and Rs 40 per cubic foot (white) till the opening of the public mines in the state. These exorbitant rates had been charged for almost a year due to an acute shortage of construction material, especially sand and gravel, following the closure of all mines since the Aam Aadmi Party-led government took over the reins of Punjab.
We have demolished the sand mafia and ensured that the consumers get sand at cheaper rates. Now, sand will be sold at just Rs 5.5 per cubic foot at each public mining site, giving a major relief to the common man. – Bhagwant Mann, Chief Minister
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