Sand mining re-auction nets Rs 14.91 crore

The Punjab government Thursday collected Rs 14.91 crore in revenue from the re-auction of 13 sand quarries. The amount earned for the mines in Jalandhar, Ajitgarh, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur is 67 per cent more than the reserve price of Rs 8.91 crore.

With this, the stateis set to earn a total Rs 44 crore in revenues from the auction of 21 mines, Punjab Industry Minister Anil Joshi said.

The mines of Jalandhar district generated maximum revenue of Rs 6.50 crore Chhaula quarry alone going for Rs 4.50 crore against the reserve price of Rs 1.31 crore.

The Chadiala quarry in Mohali was the second biggest grosser Rs 2.78 crore against the reserve price of Rs 2.70 while seven quarries in Hoshiarpur went for Rs 3.71 crore against the reserve price of Rs 3.12 crore. The three quarries in Kapurthala went for Rs 1.91 crore against the reserve price of Rs 66.06 lakh while Ajitgarh mines were auctioned at Rs 2.78 crore.

Sources said e-bidding for the auction picked pace minutes before the process was to end. Interestingly for the Hargarh quarry, the difference between successful bidder and the loser was just Re 1, with the auction being settled for Rs 60,77,901 against the loser's Rs 60,77,900. The final bid for Kailon quarry was settled at Rs 37,32,000, just Rs 1,000 more than the loser's Rs 37,31000.

This time the industries department had increased by three times the reserve price as compared to the last auction so that the bidders do not form any consortium.

Meanwhile, Joshi claimed that despite the auction at a higher rate, prices of sand would not go up. He added that directions had been issued to monitor mining operations in a strict manner. He said that the government was fully committed to provide the sand to common man on very nominal rates and added that 869 cases against illegal mining have also been registered in last eight months.

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