More use of M-Sand may stabilise cost of river sand: experts

The increase in supply of M-Sand will mean reduction in the ecological damage to river beds. File photo  

Those of you planning to construct homes can expect a breather over the next few months as the cost of river sand, which has tripled over the last two months is expected to come down as the quantum of manufactured sand (M-Sand) available in the market is likely to go up.

For, the construction industry experts believe that the State government’s decision to introduce M-Sand as a part of the scheduled rates for its work is expected to bring down demand for river sand, thus pushing down the rates. The sops announced in the budget for M-Sand (which comes at half the cost of the river sand cost) will also contribute to the reduction in the rate.

The increase in supply of M-Sand also will mean reduction in the ecological destruction on the river path from where sand is extracted.

Cost of river sand is Rs. 150 per cubic foot
A lorry load of 700 cubic feet costs Rs. 1.05 lakh
In January, cost of sand was around Rs. 80 per cubic foot
M-Sand costs around Rs. 40 per cubic foot
There are around 100 M-Sand manufacturing units in Karnataka.
M-Sand is nothing but pure stone crushed powder (or granite powder).
State government has included M-Sand in its schedule of rates for public works.
State Budget earmarked Rs. 5 crore for promoting the use and manufacture of M-Sand, and a 5 per cent subsidy on interest announced on loans
availed to set up M-Sand units in the districts.
While high-rises built with M-Sand have proved a point, the sceptical contractors, labourers and the sand-mafia slowing down the material’s
usage, say experts.

On an average, Bengaluru receives at least 2,000 loads of river sand in a day, and the erratic supply has pushed up the price to Rs. 150 per cubic feet in the past two months. Currently, the city’s burgeoning construction industry is consuming 600 loads of M-Sand daily.

“In fact, it is proven that M-Sand is stronger than the quality palmed off today as pure river sand,” says Aswath M.U, who chairs the technical committee of the study undertaken by the Indian Concrete Institute’s ‘Alternatives to River Sand’.

Most ready mix concrete suppliers also use M-Sand in their combo-mix. Ravi Kumar M.P., Manager, RMC Ready Mix India, said: “We supply 35,000 cubic metres of RMC a month where in 50 per cent is M-Sand.”

“With the budget throwing spotlight on M-Sand, there would be a natural awareness created about the material,” says Nagaraj Reddy, president of CREDAI-Karnataka. He, however, said: “I doubt if newer manufacturers entering the business would immediately get approvals as several environmental clearances have to be in place because of the looming illegal quarrying,” he says.

However, Khalid Rehman, Chief Architect, Centre for Vernacular Architecture, said: “Sooner or later one has to accept the reality of the natural material going extinct. We have to educate contractors and masons into understanding the chemistry of the material to make it easy for dealing with their apprehensions at construction sites.”

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 9:28:41 PM |

Next Story