RJD protests against Bihar's sand mining policy, calls for shutdown

Patna, Dec 11 (IANS) The opposition RJD on Monday protested against the sand mining policy of the Bihar government which it said had led to an over two-fold increase in the price of sand, and called for a day-long shutdown on December 18.

The new sand mining policy had resulted in a crisis since July and rendered lakhs of construction workers and others jobless, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Tejashwi Yadav said.

He led a protest march of Rashtriya Janata Dal leaders and workers and termed the policy as "anti-labourer and anti-people".

RJD Vice President Raghuvansh Prasad Singh said the "faulty" policy had also seriously affected government projects.

Soon after joining hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party and forming a new government after dumping the RJD and the Congress, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's government announced the new policy which it claimed was aimed to end illegal sand mining and regulate its sale in the state.

"But the sand crisis has been continuing and has hit the construction sector and labourers for nearly five months," Singh said.

The new sand mining policy has led to an increase in sand prices from Rs 2,500 per trolley to Rs 6,600 to Rs 10,000 now, the RJD leaders said.

The Patna High Court on Monday stayed the Mining Department's orders in connection with sand mining and ordered the department's Principal Secretary to personally appearance in court on December 18, the next date of hearing.

On November 27, a division bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice Anil Kumar Upadhyay had stayed the execution of the Bihar Minor Mineral Rules, 2017, introduced by the state government after the JD-U and the BJP came together on July 27.



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