After state ups ante, revenue from sand mining surges by about 50%

After state ups ante, revenue from sand mining surges by about 50%

Kolkata: The robust online set up introduced by the Mamata Banerjee government for excavation and sale of sand led to an increase in the revenue generated out of the royalty and cess collected for transportation of the building material by around 50 per cent.

The new online "a scientific, environmentally sustainable and socially responsible" mechanism" was introduced only in the month of October and the royalty and cess collected by the state for transportation of sand has gone up in the month of November itself. Earlier there used to be around Rs 8 crore every month. In November itself it increased to Rs 12 crore. The royalty and cess for transportation is collected at a rate of Rs 1.67 per CFT of sand.

"The value is not of great significance in this case. But the endeavor that has put an end to the pilferage in this connection helping common people to get the same at the right price is more important for the state government," said a senior officer of the state secretariat.

Earlier the entire process of allotting sand banks and monitoring on transportation of the building material used to be done manually leaving scopes of pilferage. Recently, the state government introduced the new Sand Mining Policy that empowered the West Bengal Mineral Development and Trading Corporation as the monitoring authority. Subsequently, a centralised auction and supervision mechanism of sand excavation and sale was introduced.

Now, e-challans with unique QR codes have been introduced doing away with the age-old system of issuing challan books from districts for transportation of particular quantities of sand from sand blocks or stock yards to "point of sale". Data of trucks that transport sand has already

been captured in the vehicle module of the online based mechanism.

An auto-generated road challan also contains "issue date" and "valid date". One gets 12 hours to supply the same. The sand has to be supplied before the "valid date". In case of unforeseen situations, it has to be extended by approaching the concerned authorities over a toll-free number. Officers of any enforcement agency can get the permit details just by scanning the QR code on the road challan and it checks the illegal sale of sand. Till date 7.11 lakh e-challans have been issued.

The state government is also planning to introduce an app using which officers of enforcement authorities can get the transport permit status just by keying in the registration number of the truck carrying sand.

At present there are 997 existing lessees, who carry out mining of sand, in the state. Another 50 to 60 new sand blocks, each of around 10 to 15 hectares, have been identified.

Each of the existing around 1000 sand blocks are of around 3 to 4 hectares. The state government has initiated empanelment of mine developer and operator.

The empaneled ones can participate in the auction to operate the newly identified sand blocks. Based on one of the three to four modules, which are at present under consideration at present, the new sand blocks would get operated.

Next Story
Share it