Even as the battle against coronavirus (Covid-19) is progressing well, Andhra Pradesh has started re-igniting the state economy that’s been hit by the lockdown.

Sand mining in the state was restarted on Wednesday to ensure adequate sand reserves for the ensuing rainy season, according to M Madhusudan Reddy, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, AP Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC).

Sand mining is being taken up while ensuring there’s no disruption to the measures being taken to tackle Covid-19, he said.

The objective is to build up about 60 lakh tonnes of sand as decided by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.

APMDC will ensure regular sand supply to stockyards during the lockdown period, and there will be no sale of sand anywhere except in stockyards.

In the process of mining and other related works, the guidelines given by the Centre will be adhered to. Apart from maintaining social distancing and sanitisation, increased use of advanced machinery will be undertaken to minimise the use of human labour.

Crucial move

Resuming sand mining assumes significance for the state economy as the construction sector requires about one lakh tonnes of sand per day at normal pace of construction. About 30 lakh registered workers are dependent on the sector.

Andhra Pradesh is a sand-deficit state, with only 1.2 crore cubic metres of sand against the demand of two crore cubic metres.