Kalavara, the public fair price shops for construction materials jointly run by the State and district units of Nirmithi Kendram, would be the designated outlets to sell the sand confiscated by the authorities, Benoy Viswom, Minister for Housing and Forests has said.

Inaugurating the Kalavara outlet here on Saturday, the Minister pointed out that the government has already taken a decision on the matter. According to him, now onwards, unauthorised mined sand, once confiscated, will be distributed through the Kalavara outlets. So far, those charge sheeted in the case were fined and allowed to take the sand, he said. “This will be a great deterrent against illegal sand mining.”

Mr. Viswom said the Kalavara outlets will impact the construction-materials market the same way the Maveli stores intervened in the market in general. The price of steel and sand which had sky-rocketed in recent times, could be reined in wherever Kalavara outlets were opened, he said, and added that the trend was a clear pointer that the endeavour has been effective.

The outlets were not intended for those who build big houses, but was aimed at helping the common man realise his dream of owning shelter, Mr. Viswom said. While materials for houses up to 600 sq ft would be sold without profit, materials for houses upto 2000 sq ft would be sold at a rate lower than the market rate.

Speaking on the occasion, the Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy said the time has come to think of keeping the construction sector buoyant by providing materials that do not destroy the environment. The initiative would go a long way in brining down the exploitation existing in the construction materials market, he added.

The first sale was conducted by Mons Joseph MLA. District Panachayat acting president Jessymol Manoj, district collector Min Antony, Oil Plam India chairman V.B. Binu, Nirmithy Kendram director G. Harikumar and others spoke.

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