Chennai: Builders can heave a sigh of relief, as the government has completed all formalities including bidding to import river sand from abroad. PWD (sand mining) officials say that the first sand carrier vessel will come from Malaysia from next month.
Sources said the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) had announced last March that 30 lakh tonne of river sand will be imported in two years from abroad and five lakh tonne will be shipped in every month.
Later, CMDA handed the processes over to the PWD, which was also asked to form a team for quality check. However, the PWD in the beginning floundered to find out quality bidders.
Meanwhile, such move has rekindled hopes among the builders.“At a time when cost of river sand is going up, the importing of sand from abroad will reduce the price across the state. Even as many prefer M-sand nowadays, sand river will always be in demand,” said a member from Tamil Nadu Construction Engineers and Contractors Association.
When contacted, a special officer (sand mining) said, “River sand will be reaching us from next month. Further, imported sand will be unloaded in ports like Ennore port, Kattupalli and VOC port at Thoothukudi.” Since there is a heavy flow in the delta belt, where more number of quarries was functioning, the government will open more quarries after water receded, added the official.
When asked about the country, the official replied “the agreement to import sand has been made between Malaysia and Tamil Nadu.”...