YSRCP leaders, on Thursday, carried out a protest against Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu who is sitting on a 12-hour long 'Sand Deeksha' protest over sand crisis issue in Vijayawada. During the protest, the YSRCP leaders raised slogans against the TDP leader at Dharna Chowk and asked them to not to politicise the issue.
Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy, while speaking to ANI, said that it was the state government, who was planning to conduct a 'Sand Week' from November 14 to 21 in order to improve the sand availability in Andhra Pradesh, as disclosed by Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy.
Further elaborating on the efforts taken by the Reddy government to facilitate the construction sector, Peddireddy said: "The collectors have been asked to locate new stock points for the sale of sand. The number of stock points has already been increased from 137 to 180. While the availability of sand is 80,000 tonnes, it has been increased to 1.2 lakh tonnes per day."
The YSRCP leaders also assured that the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APDMC) will ensure that sand reaches in the state in enough quantity to improve the situation. While calling Naidu’s decision about the Dharna ridiculous, the minister said, "He wants to make a living by making false allegations against the new sand policy even after knowing that rains since August have hampered sand mining.”
The Reddy government said that strict action would be taken against the hoardings of sand and video cameras had been arranged at focal points and 200 check posts had been set up across the state.
Meanwhile, Naidu, while explaining his side of the story, has said that mafias have created an artificial sand crisis leading to 50 construction workers committing suicides. He has further mentioned that he is undertaking a 12-hour-long ‘deeksha’ to press for three demands -- reintroducing free sand policy, awarding Rs 25 lakhs ex-gratia to families of suicide victims and compensation of Rs 10,000 per month for every construction worker who has lost livelihood in the last 5 months.
(With ANI inputs)