Pune administration make royalty certificate compulsory for builders
TO ensure royalty from mining minor minerals, especially sand for construction purposes, the district administration may soon consider making royalty certificates compulsory for builders for getting completion certificate for their buildings.
With reports of rampant illegal sand excavation for construction purpose coming to the fore with unfailing regularity, the administration has come up with a proposal which will ensure that a developer produces the royalty certificate or a challan issued to them for getting the completion certificate to the district
“While efforts are on to track sand thefts, those that are not caught need to be trapped. With the amount of construction happening in the city, it is obvious that there are several who are not paying the mandatory royalty for excavation and many may be procuring material from persons who are involved in illegal excavation. If we ensure that the concerned person produces challan and royalty transport permit for royalty paid, we can ensure that the royalty is not evaded and that the sand and other material used is not illegally excavated,” said deputy collector Shankarrao Jadhav.
With more than 2,000 cases filed in four months and the number continuing to rise, a note will be shortly circulated to the municipal corporations, municipal councils and the PMRDA specifying that completion certificates should not be issued till they get the royalty certificates cleared from the collectorate authorities.
A proposal readied by the administration highlights the thefts that were caught and reported and those that are not caught and go unreported.
The government had issued guidelines to strike a balance between construction needs and environmental concerns while allowing sand mining in states which
includes Maharashtra as well, detailed guidelines have been issued on sustainable sand mining with strict monitoring and crackdown against illegal mining,
“There is a need to keep a check on the material used and where it is procured from. The directive to produce the royalty challan or certificate at the time of completion will ensure that the private party has paid the necessary royalty and there is no illegal excavation involved. We have started the barcoded challan and it is very easy for the developer to take the royalty transport permit and then produce it to the administration so that we can ensure that the material has been taken from the legal quarry,” said Jadhav.
With a bar coded challan already in place, the added clearance in terms of royalty certificate will ensure that the material is procured from the right means and there is no evasion of royalty, officials said.
For government buildings, the royalty is deducted but with rampant evasion from the private sector, the administration plans to ensure that there is no evasion.
Pune district administration has set a target of Rs 175 crore revenue from sand mining.
The district has already netted at least Rs 120 crore through continuous drives and penalties against offenders.
The district administration has even entrusted all officers on the field to file cases as well as initiate action and put the same online so that the information is available to all the key officers in the administration. Last year, the district did not achieve the target and this year, all officers have doubled up efforts, said Jadhav.
The district administration has also demanded that separate machinery and cell be started. The state government is looking at mining as an important source of revenue.
Separate machinery and government boats at various sites to check on illegal excavations too have been requested by the administration in the proposal,officials said.
With strict guidelines put against those miners who indulge in mining more sand than the permissible limit within the leased area, these guidelines by the administration will definitely bring about some restraint, hope officials.
According to the draft of the central government, though mining of minor minerals like sand is perceived to have lesser impact as compared to mining of major minerals, the activity as a whole is seen to have significant adverse impacts on environment.
The draft states that it is necessary that the mining of minor minerals is subjected to simpler but strict regulatory regime and carried out only under an approved framework of mining plan.
The building fraternity does not seem to be in its favour. Satish Magar, from Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) said, “It does not seem to be a hassle free system as it only increases paperwork. The administration in turn should improve their monitoring system rather than have checks on challan.”