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Thursday, July 25, 2024

M-Sand’ a better option for sustainable development: Yogi


Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Friday directed to promote ‘M-Sand’ (Manufactured Sand) as an alternative to river sand and gravel sand as the state government is set to implement the M-Sand policy very soon, ensuring the availability of a new alternative to natural sand.

While discussing the proposed policy with the Department of Geology and Mining, the CM said, “Our effort should be to promote sustainable development without harming the environment and river ecosystems. In this context, M-Sand is a better alternative.”

He mentioned that given the limited availability of riverbed sand and its increasing demand, M-Sand should be encouraged as an alternative to sand obtained from the riverbed. “This will also create new employment opportunities,” he said.

During discussions on the new policy, Yogi directed that maintaining the quality standards of M-Sand is extremely important as it involves the safety of life and property. He directed that all M-Sand manufacturers obtain BIS certification without exception.

He said that as the nodal department, the Department of Geology and Mining should coordinate with licensees and stakeholders at both state and district levels to expedite the production of M-Sand. “Efforts should be made to make M-Sand conveniently available to the general public and the price of M-Sand should be low compared to natural moram/sand. Environmental standards should be strictly followed in the units related to it,” he said.

Keeping in view the convenience of mining lease holders, the CM directed to simplify the issuance process of the e-Abhivahan form (EMM-11). He has said that the process of issuing should be streamlined at the district level, with a defined timeline for processing.

To tackle vehicle overloading during mineral transportation effectively, he directed the enhancement of task forces in districts. He emphasised that the best approach to prevent overloading is from the zero point, meaning enforcement should start at the mining site where sand, moram, gravel, and other sub-minerals are loaded onto vehicles.

Yogi said, “A joint team of local officials of the district administration, police administration, transport, and Department of Geology and Mining should act as a task force to ensure effective enforcement.”

He stressed conducting inspections of sand/moram transportation with practicality to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to the public.

The CM directed that a vehicle tracking system be employed for real-time monitoring of vehicles transporting minerals. He emphasised the issuance of the

e-Abhivahan form only when the vehicle is physically present within the designated geo-fenced mining area.

He stressed the utilization of barren land instead of fertile land for establishing brick kilns. He directed officials to engage with entrepreneurs in this sector and raise awareness about avoiding the use of fertile land.

Emphasising the need to control the prices of sand/moram during the rainy season, Yogi also reviewed their storage arrangements. It was noted that while there were 533 storage sites in the year 2023-24, this session has seen an increase to 645 storage sites.

During the meeting, he was informed that 44,547 enforcement actions were undertaken in the year 2022-23, with the number rising to 57,539 in 2023-24. As of May in the current financial year, enforcement actions have already been initiated in 9,451 cases. These consistent efforts have effectively reduced illegal activities and contributed to an increase in revenue.

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