Tamil Nadu

Sale of remaining stock of imported river sand soon

The Water Resources Department will begin the sale of the remaining stock of imported river sand soon. The State government has sanctioned permission for the sale till June 2022.

According to a government order issued recently, nearly 18,616 metric tonnes of sand is available for sale. The contractor had noted that the sale was disrupted due to the pandemic, and sought time for clearing stocks.

However, the government order has specified that no further cargo should be imported due to the pandemic. It may be recalled that Malaysian sand was imported through three ports — Kamarajar Port Limited, Ennore; Adani Kattupalli Port Private Limited, and the V.O. Chidambaranar Port in Thoothukudi.

Though the contract expired last August, the sale period was extended twice, as large amounts of sand remained unsold and sale was stopped temporarily.

WRD officials said the average sales had dropped to 2,000 metric tonnes a month when the sale period was extended between February and August this year for the second time.

During the previous period, the average sale was 3,197 metric tonnes a month. The sale, extended for the third time, will be carried out based on the old rates, an official said.

Imported sand will be available for online sale at tnsand.in. As of now, bookings are open only for sale in the ports in Kattupalli and Thoothukudi.

Need to fix price

S. Yuvaraj, president, the Tamil Nadu State Sand Lorry Owners’ Federation, said the construction sector was picking up pace and demand for sand was about 20,000 loads a day now. Of this, Chennai’s daily demand stood at 6,000-7,000 loads.

Imported sand is priced at ₹2,500 a tonne, and it works out to nearly ₹10,000 a unit. Transportation charges within the city alone will be around ₹10,000. A lorry load of sand, comprising three units, will become expensive, affecting consumers.

“We may not be able to transport sand beyond city limits. The government must fix the cost at ₹1,500 a tonne,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 8:35:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sale-of-remaining-stock-of-imported-river-sand-soon/article37081144.ece

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