"Punjab has immense potential with regard to the mining sector and the implementation of a comprehensive and effective mining policy can act as the game changer for the economy of the state besides ensuring the availability of sand at reasonable prices to the people of state." The views were expressed by the Chairman of Cabinet sub-committee on mining and the Local Government Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu in a statement here at Hyderabad during a visit to Telangana while leading a delegation to have a first hand knowledge of the successful mining model of Telangana and visiting the mining quarries in that state. Mr. Sidhu further said that after having a look at the Telangana model and given the more number of rivers in Punjab vis-à-vis Telangana, he has become supremely confident that the aspect of mining which is the weakest spot of Punjab can become its strongest support pillar. He also said that the state of Telangana has transformed the sand quarries into goldmines by the dint of its effective and comprehensive policy. He also said that this proposed mining policy for Punjab can act as a boon for the state and his hopes have been buoyed by this visit which has cleared all the misconceptions arising in the sub-committee meetings.The officers from the mining department and the corporation of Telangana gave a power point presentation and briefed the minister about the successful mining model being operated with tremendous success in the state apart from outlining minutely the methodology of implementing mining policy successfully.
Giving details of the presentation, Mr. Sidhu said that the enormity of the success of mining policy of Telangana can very well be gauged from the fact that during the first 11 days of the financial year 2018-19 Telangana has earned Rs.40.71 crore where as Punjab during the tenure of the previous regime earned Rs. 40 crore in a year but it has the potential to earn more given the more number of rivers that the state has. Besides this, Telangana has sand prices under control to a large extent. He further said that Telangana earned Rs. 10.5 crore in 2014-15 from mining and the income has increased from that level to Rs. 368.33 crore in 2015-16, Rs. 456.45 crore in 2016-17 and Rs. 678.35 crore in 2017-18.The officers of the committee, at the 3 day visit to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, held long ranging discussions with the officers of both the states. The delegation included Principal Secretary Mines Mr. Jaspal Singh, Secretary cum Director Mines Mr. Kumar Rahul, Chief Engineer Mr. Vinod Chaudhary, and the Advisor to the Minister-Mr. Angad Singh Sohi. The delegation from Punjab had the first meeting yesterday late evening at Hyderabad with the Principal Secretary Mines, Industry and Commerce of Telangana Mr. Jayaish Rajan, Telangana State Mining Development Corporation Chairman Mr. Seri Subhash Reddy and Vice Chairman cum Managing Director Dr. G. Malasur and Director (Mines) Mr. B.R.V. Sushil Kumar. In the second meeting, the delegation from Punjab held meeting with the officers from Andhra Pradesh in which the Joint Director Mines Mr. V.B. Chandrashekhar and Consultant Mr. Manoj Gurramkonda made their presentations.
During the second day of the visit, the delegation from Punjab visited the mining spots accompanied by the Vice Chairman cum Managing Director of Telangana State Mining Development Corporation Dr. G. Malasur and General Manager Mr. Raj Shekhar Reddy. The delegation was shown the sand mining being done at village puskupalli in District Jaiyashankar Bhupalpalli at the banks of Godavari river which is around 200 KM from Hyderabad. The delegation also saw the transportation of sand, blockade to prevent illegal mining, checking system of un-registered vehicles, authorized spots where the vehicles carrying sand are weighed, place where the sand taken out from the mining near the river is stored and the process of carrying sand to the consumers through commercial vehicles. The delegation also had a look at the coding system done on the receipt issued through computerized system from the storage place. Mr. Sidhu was very impressed by the way whole system worked.The officers from Telangana elaborated that the state government has increased its income through effective and sustainable methods of mining. They also thanked the Government of Andhra Pradesh and concerned officers who helped the delegation from Punjab a great deal in studying the mining model and also specially thanked the officers of the Telangana State Mining Development Corporation who took the visiting delegation members to visit sand quarries thus helping them in having first hand knowledge of the ground realities from practical point of view.