Under the new policy announced last month, the state government had debarred panchayats from excavating sand. The operation was handed over to state-owned Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC).
The new policy however could not be effectively implemented following technical flaws. Subsequently, supply had been severely affected, leading to a near two-fold increase in the price of sand. According to building material suppliers, the price had escalated to Rs 1,750 from Rs 900 per square foot.
The panchayats that were supervising the mining of sand had stopped the operation while CMDC was not in a position to take over following manpower shortage. As against the total staff required to run the 450 sand mines across the state, the CMDC has hardly 10 per cent manpower.
“The department has decided to implement the new policy only in seven of the 27 districts following manpower problem,” said a senior official in the mining department. Once the system was streamlined, it would be implemented in other districts, he said, adding that the new policy would be effective only in phases.
Till then, the supply of sand was likely to remain affected that would severely impact the infrastructure development works in the state. Besides the Prime Minister Housing Scheme, many other government sponsored projects were likely to be affected as the contractors had been reluctant.