Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Sand Sariat revenue has increased by 124% in 2019-20 in comparison to the revenue earned the previous year.

The revenue increased with expeditious implementation of construction projects and indentification of new sand sairat sources in different parts of the State. The total sand sairat sources had gone up to 1859.

This was known from a State Level review meeting held on digital mode under the chairmanship of chief secretary Asit Tripathy from Lokseba Bhawan hall, wherein principal secretary revenue and disaster management Bishnupada Sethi outlined the issues for discussion.

Reviewing the progress made so far, chief secretary Tripathy directed the revenue and disaster management department to operationalize all sairat sources within a definite time schedule for filling the gap between ‘demand and supply’ of sand.

He said, “Enhancement of legally operational sources will have triple benefit of ensuring supply of sand for construction sector, containing the theft of sand and increasing the collection of revenue”.

Available data show around 450 new sources have been identified taking the total number of sand sairat sources to 1859. Out of this 640 sources have been auctioned for the current year.

Principal secretary revenue & disaster management Bishnupada Sethi said, “The annual availability of sand for mining in the State has increased to 1,12,35,392 cubic meter. Out of this, the sairats with annual yielding capacity of 65,70,509 cubic meter have been operationalized so far.”

Director minor minerals Bibhuti Bhusan Das appraised, “The total revenue earned from sand in the year 2019-20 increased to Rs.680 cr against the total revenue of around Rs.303 cr in the FY 2018-19, thereby recording a growth of 124%.”

Chief secretary directed to expedite the process for auction of the balance sources. The department was asked to monitor auctioning of the sand sources regularly and keep up-grading the number of sources.

Tripathy also directed to finalize development of i4-MS software for real time monitoring of the sand excavation and transportation, and, fix the timeline for its application.

Further, chief secretary directed to make district wise assessment of the shortage or surplus of sand keeping in view the requirements in government and private sectors. He also directed to identify new sources on sand rich riverbeds in collaboration with the department of water resources, forest & environment; and, prepare scientific mining plans.

It was decided to allow inter-state transportation of surplus sands through competitive bidding process. Tripathy further directed to strengthen the enforcement activities for checking the illegal lifting and theft of sand.

Development commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, additional chief secretary steel & mines Surendra Kumar, principal secretary water resources Anu Garg, principal secretary finance Ashok Kumar Meena, principal secretary housing & urban development G. Mathivathanan and works secretary Krishan Kumar participated in the deliberations.