The state government is likely to continue giving permits to locals for manual sand dredging on 14 patches of Savitri river in Raigad district, though the permit system had recently been scrapped.
Government pleader Vijay Patil on Tuesday told the Bombay high court that the permit system, which is still in use in certain areas of Thane district, could also be adopted for 14 patches on Savitri river because the state had received no bids in response to an advertisement calling for tenders.
Patil was replying to a bunch of petitions filed by locals challenging invitation of bids for manual sand dredging on Savitri river.
He informed the court that according to the state’s new policy, if no bids are received in response to any tender for sand dredging, the revenue commissioner forwards a report to the state government, which takes a final decision.
Chief justice Mohit Shah and justice SJ Vazifdar directed the revenue commissioner of the Konkan division to submit his report to state government within a week. The government then has 10 days to decide on the report.
The judges also suggested that the locals should come together by way of a cooperative society so that their end product gets competitive price.
The suggestion came after the petitioner’s counsel Gayatri Singh said the locals got low prices as compared to sand collected through mechanical dredging.