A Cabinet Sub-Committee constituted by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh under the Chairmanship of the Local Government Minister Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu for the purpose of formulating a comprehensive policy with regard to sand mining submitted its report to the Chief Minister today at the Punjab Bhawan.Disclosing this in a press statement after submitting report, Mr. Sidhu said that in the meetings held by the committee and the field visits it was found that Punjab has stock of sand for coming 100 years and that of gravel for 170 years. The committee has recommended the fixation of prices of sand at Rs. 1000 per 100 cubic feet. One trolley has 100 cubic feet capacity weighing 4 tonnes.Mr. Sidhu further divulged that the cabinet sub-committee has found that earlier there was no price fixation for sand and the supply was also lacking resulting in people getting sand at exorbitant prices owing to breaking of supply chain. He also said that cabinet sub-committee keeping in view the existing deposits of sand and gravel is now recommending lowering of sand prices and going in for their fixation at a certain level. As per the recommendations, there would be no dearth of supply with people getting sand at a fixed price which would be much less than the earlier price.
Adding more, the minister said that the committee has found that the total length of all the rivers in Punjab comes to 1150 KM with 500 Metre (Half KM) width. Total area is 575 Square Kilometre. As per the statistics of the Government of India 32 lakh tonnes of sand can be mined from a 1 Square Kilometre area having 10 feet depth. Similarly, in Punjab a total of 184 crore tonnes of sand can be mined from the 575 Square Kilometre area. The mining of sand every year from the rivers leads to more sand getting accumulated in them from the mountains.The demand in Punjab of sand is 2 crore tonnes per year. That makes Punjab having an abundant stock of sand for next 91 years. It is also worth mentioning that owing to the origin of rivers of Punjab from Himalayas, the quality of sand is far better than the sand mined from Godavari river.
The minister further elaborated that the committee after touring the crushers to ascertain gravel stock came to know that rocky dunes exist in 30 KM area in kandi region with total area coming to 500 Square Kilometres. According to the statistics of the Government of India, 30 feet depth in 3 Square Kilometre area can fulfill the demand of Punjab for a whole year and 1 crore tonnes of sand can be mined from the 500 Square Kilometre area which has the potential to fulfill the demand for coming 170 years.The minister thanked the committee members Finance Minister Mr. Manpreet Singh Badal and Rural Development and Panchayat Minister Mr. Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and special invitee to the meetings the Water Resources Minister Mr. Sukhbinder Singh Sarkaria.At the time of submitting the report to the Chief Minister, Mr. Sidhu was accompanied by Principal Secretary Water Resources Management Mr. Jaspal Singh, Director Water Resources Management Mr. Kumar Rahul and Chief Engineer Mr. Vinod Chaudhari.It is notable that the committee held numerous brainstorming meetings and a delegation of the officers visited under the leadership of Mr. Sidhu Hyderabad to have a look at Telangana and Andhra Pradesh model where a presentation was made by the officers of both the State Governments. Besides this, the delegation also paid a visit to the banks of Godavari river, where sand is mined, to have a firsthand knowledge about the Telangana model. The delegation also toured kandi area in Hoshiarpur District of Punjab to be in knowledge regarding the crushers.