Thoothukudi : The supply of the imported Malaysian river sandfrom Thoothukudi port commenced on Tuesday.
A private importer, MRM Ramaiah Enterprises had imported around 55,000 tones of river sand from Malaysia through Thoothukudi port for sale in the domestic market last October.
The state government, however, through its public works department had seized the trucks carrying the sand to the buyers and ordered that the imported sand should not be sold in the state.
The aggrieved private company however approached the Supreme court seeking its intervention against the Tamil Nadu state policy of not to sell imported river sand though it had adhered to all the requirements of the Central government’s policy on importing river sand.
In the case, the Tamil Nadu government expressed its willingness to buy the sand and sell it through its PWD. It also agreed to the condition of the Supreme court to pay Rs 11.71 crore to the private importer. The amount included the sand cost of Rs 7.75 crore, customs duty of Rs 2.88 crore and the GST of`38.40 lakh paid by the sand importer.
The government too fixed the sales rate of Rs 9,990 per unit (4.5 tones) and opened up the online booking of the sales through its portal-tnsand.com on September 21. The supply was made on the basis of first come first served basis. Based on the online bookings, the supply of the imported sand commenced from Thoothukudi port on Tuesday. The first two units of the sand costing Rs 19,980 was sent by the PWD officials to a buyer at Pannaivilai village in Thoothukudi district on Tuesday. However, the cost of the imported sand being very high against the local river sand that costs Rs 1,330, not many have come forward to buy the imported sand, said a PWD official. The bookings, started ten days ago, has very poor response from the buyers, he added.