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Sand mining resumes in Noida after four years, three agencies issued licences

The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration issued the licences through e-tendering

noida Updated: May 17, 2017 10:43 IST
Vinod Rajput
Vinod Rajput
Hindustan Times
Noida,Gautam Budh nagar,sand mining
Authorities have been trying to stop illegal mining since the NGT’s 2015 ban.(Sunil Ghosh/HT File)

After a gap of around four years, the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration on Tuesday allotted contracts for sand mining in the Yamuna floodplains to three private agencies.

“We have awarded tenders (contracts) to three private agencies — Nardan Infra Developers, Jatin Buildtech Private Limited and SN Construction Company — through an electronic tendering process,” said BN Singh, district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar.

Nardan Infra Developers has got a mining site for Rs459 per cubic metre in Kindli Khadar, Jatin Buildtech Private Limited for Rs257 per cubic metre in Aurangabad village and SN Construction Company for Rs484 per cubic metre in Tilwada village along the Yamuna floodplain, said officials.

Read | Police, administration crack down on illegal sand mining around Noida

As per policy, the three agencies can mine sand only for a six-month period. There is also a limit to the amount of sand they can mine. Nardan Infra Developers has been given the limit of one lakh cubic metres of sand, Jatin Buildtech Private Limited 80,000 cubic metres and SN Construction Company 59,200 cubic metres, according to officials.

“The government will earn around Rs12 crore in revenue from the contracts. Those who placed the highest bid in e-tendering got the tenders from the government at the three sites,” said Kumar Vineet, additional district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar.

Read | Environment ministry confirms illegal sand mining in Greater Noida

On April 22, 2017, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had approved a new policy for awarding licences for sand mining. He had directed all district magistrates to award sand mining sites through e-tendering.

The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration had not issued licences for sand mining in the Yamuna floodplains since 2013. In November 2015, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned sand mining in the floodplains. It was hearing a plea alleging that private firms were involved in illegal activities and were even building a bridge across the river to transport the sand.

Read | Sand mafia builds bridge on Yamuna as link to Faridabad

Despite the ban, illegal sand mining continued to take place at some sites on the floodplains falling in the district. The district administration and police have in the past formed teams to fight illegal sand mining.

“The Yamuna floodplains are spread over a vast area and it is not easy to check illegal sand mining completely. However, we take action as and when we get information,” said an official of the district administration.

First Published: May 16, 2017 23:39 IST