In a historic decision to provide sand & gravel to public at large at minimum affordable rates, the Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday approved the Punjab State Sand and Gravel Mining Policy, 2021 to provide sand and gravel at Rs. 5.50/cubic feet across the state.Disclosing this here today, a spokesperson of the Chief Minister's Office said that as per new policy the sand and gravel shall be provided to the public at Rs. 5.5/cft at mining sites including loading charges. Further, the royalty rate of ordinary clay and ordinary earth shall be decreased from Rs. 10 per ton to Rs. 2.5 per ton in public interest.According to the new mining policy, the land owner or possessor can dispose of ordinary earth extracted/removed during the leveling of their agriculture fields up to 3-feet. Removal of any minor mineral by the land owner/panchayat is allowed for meeting their land-filling requirements and for their bona-fide requirements including religious and development activities. These activities do not require any rent, royalty or permit fee and no permit is required.
These activities shall not be hindered by the officials and contractors without any valid reason and disciplinary action shall be initiated if any official or contractor is found guilty.Due publicity shall be done for the information of public at large through mass media, notice boards at pit head of the mine sites, Government Offices & its premises to ensure that no one charges rates more than the prescribed ones. In case of any violation by the concessionaire, strict action will be taken as per rules.Dedicated toll free number shall be made available to the consumers to register their complaint regarding rates, if ever charged more than prescribed ones, added the spokesperson.Notably, the mineral concessions of sand & gravel mines in the Punjab State have been awarded through e-Auction to the various concessionaires in accordance to Punjab Sand and Gravel Mining Policy, 2018. Quantities to be mined were fixed at 350 lac metric tonnes per annum. With this policy, the Government has fixed the pit head selling price of sand and gravel @ Rs. 9/cft including loading charges. The average sale price of the sand and gravel in various cities of Punjab varies from Rupees 20/cft to Rupees 35/cft depending upon distance source to destination.