New sand mines set for auction in 8 districts in Bihar
Bihar is set to start auctioning of ghats (river banks) for sand mining in eight more districts after the state cabinet on Friday evening gave its nod to the mines department’s proposal, officials said.
The state government has also decided to extend the lease of ghats of various rivers for sand mining in another eight districts — Patna, Bhojpur, Saran, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui and Lakhisarai — for a period of six months (from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022) on the deposit of 50% extra of the previously settled lease amount.
Sanjay Kumar, additional chief secretary (cabinet secretariat), said Bihar State Mining Corporation Limited had been asked to settle the lease of ghats in districts like Arwal, Nawada, Banka, Bettiah, Madhepura, Kishanganj, Vaishali and Buxar for mining of sand through open tendering. “Ghats of rest of the districts would be open for settlement once cases pending with various courts are resolved,” said Kumar.
Prices of sand in Bihar, already very high, have soared following the crackdown on illegal sand mining and officials involved in the racket.
Kumar said extension of lease and the mines department’s plan to go for sand mining in new districts were approved by the state cabinet at its meeting chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar Friday evening.
In another decision, the cabinet gave its nod the road construction department’s (RCD) plan of connecting newly built Atal Path — a four-lane high-level road in Patna connecting R-Bloc to Digha Ghat— with the upcoming Ganga Path.
Meanwhile, the transport department has extended the deadline for banning the plying of diesel-powered autos in town areas of Patna till March next year owing to the cascading impact of the pandemic on the sector. As per the notification issued in January this year, operation of diesel autos were to be completely shut by the September-end with a view to curbing pollution in the ambient air in Danapur, Phulwari Sharif and Khagaul nagar parishad areas.
After the crackdown
Six-month extension of lease
For sand mining in Patna, Bhojpur, Saran, Rohtas, Aurangabad, Gaya, Jamui and Lakhisarai (from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022) on the deposit of 50% extra of the previously settled lease amount.
New auctions in eight districts
Bihar State Mining Corporation Limited had been asked to settle lease of ghats in Arwal, Nawada, Banka, Bettiah, Madhepura, Kishanganj, Vaishali and Buxar districts through open tendering.