Amaravati: Brushing aside the allegations over awarding tenders to a private company, Special Chief Secretary of Panchayat Raj and Mining Department, Gopalakrishna Dwivedi explained that the entire process was done transparently duly following the instructions of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, solely intending to benefit consumers, by maintaining same price structure at all sand reaches.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, he said that the task of identifying the contractor has been entrusted to the Central Government Agency MSTC. It was clarified that the sand tender process was done in a most transparent way than ever in history and awarded to Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd., a subsidiary of Jaypee Group, which was selected by MSTC. Besides this, the company has to pay the government once every 15 days, in advance for the next 15 days of the business operations.
He stated that an invitation of financial bids was done only after reviewing the technical capabilities of the companies and further even extended the acceptance deadline so that more people can participate in the competition. Widespread publicity was given on tenders by placing tenders advertisements in newspapers and the government had also decided to collect Rs 120 Crore as bid security for the participation of skilled, efficient, and experienced companies. The tenders were also called online to avoid any fear or hesitation in submitting bids.
Going into the details, he said that out of Rs 475 per metric tonne at Sand Reach, Rs 375 goes directly to the public treasury and the government treasury. At this rate for a sand supply target of two crore metric tonnes per annum, the total value is only Rs 950 crore. Of this, the contractor has to pay Rs 765 crore to the government and the remaining money will go to the contracting company under maintenance and operational costs.
Asserting that the new sand policy will benefit the people, as they could carry sand from any reach at the same price, he said that the public was also given an option of carrying sand in their own vehicles or through the alternate vehicles provided at each reach. Dwivedi explained that people can check the quality and take the sand. He said that under the new policy of the government, sand will be available at the same price in all the sand rigs across the state and can be purchased directly without online registration.
He further said that the last year's excavations were about 1.6 crore metric tonnes and the target this year is to supply two crore metric tonnes per annum through the latest sand policy. He reiterated that strict action will be taken against those found selling sand more than the prescribed rate and said to call toll-free 14500 to lodge a complaint. The government has already set up a special enforcement bureau to prevent sand irregularities. By paying Rs 475 per metric tonne at reach, people can bring as much sand as they need, and in case, if the person carrying the sand is a trader, he is not allowed to sell it at a price higher than the price fixed by the government. He said that the sand will be given at a subsidized cost for the construction of houses for the weaker sections, the R&R colonies, and those living near the reaches.