TN faces acute shortage of river sand

TN faces acute shortage of river sand

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The Builders’ Association of India (BAI) has called upon the State government to encourage import of river sand from Southeast Asian countries-min

The Builders’ Association of India (BAI) has called upon the State government to encourage import of river sand from Southeast Asian countries-min
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TN is seeing skyrocketing price of river sand crippling the construction activity in the state. Stringent guidelines stipulated by the state government also has discouraged the private players from importing sand from other countries though prevailing price in those countries is very competitive

Tamil Nadu is facing severe shortage of river sand and if the state government doesn’t take some corrective measures construction activity in the state may come to grinding halt. While neighbouring states are not facing problem of similar magnitude thanks to liberal import policy, TN is seeing skyrocketing price of river sand crippling the construction activity in the state. 

Stringent guidelines stipulated by the state government also has discouraged the private players from importing sand from other countries though prevailing price in those countries is very competitive. There are instances when sand imported from Malaysia was diverted to Mangaluru port after Tamil Nadu government’s guidelines made it virtually impossible for the consigner to offload the shipment. In fact, stringent guidelines issued by the state government make the public works department the sole authorised agency to sell imported sand in the state.

It is strange that while imported sand from Malaysia is competitively priced, the state government is stifling its imports through guidelines. For example, river sand imported from Malaysia is available at Rs 100 per cubic feet as against Rs 150 per cubic feet charged for the locally available sand. There are no takers for the argument that imported sand is of poor quality because the same sand is used in building many skyscrapers in that country.

Though M Sand is suggested as an alternative for river sand in construction, quality of the M Sand has always remained suspect. While in some cases quarry dust is sold as M Sand, supply of the alternate sand variety doesn’t meet the demand in the construction sector.