The scarcity of sand in the city has forced construction companies to import sand mined from the Mekong River in Cambodia.

A consignment of sand from Cambodia has already reached the city. More consignments are likely. The importers are likely to use the sand for coping with the challenge of rising price of sand this rainy season.

According to sources, suppliers of sand in Cambodia are able to supply one cubic foot of sand at around Rs. 12.

Even though the importer will have to spend on shipment and duty, the availability of imported sand throughout the monsoon is likely to facilitate speedy completion of projects.

The price of sand has touched Rs. 65 per cubic foot in the city on account of various factors, including hoarding of sand by many suppliers.

Plots of land on the outskirts are being used to store sand due to speculation among suppliers intending to make profits when the price rises further as the monsoon intensifies.

As sand quarrying gets hit during the rainy season, most of the suppliers try to maintain a stock of sand for use during such periods.

Government officials, including those from the Public Works Department, said that many projects including major infrastructure projects in the city are being hit by the scarcity of sand.

According to them, the scarcity is likely to have an impact on major projects such as Metro Rail, too.

According to officials, sand price accounts for around 15 per cent of the project cost at present. Even though the State environment impact assessment authority had recently accorded clearance for a few sand quarries, the scarcity of sand in the city is likely to continue this monsoon.

The Mekong River is expected to remain a source of sand for the city till the government takes measures to improve supply.

The sand from the river has already been exported to countries such as Singapore. The river runs through countries including China, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

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