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adProperty News

Sand: price, availability a matter of concern
Source : The Hindu Published On : 2011-01-10 City : Coimbatore

The recent direction by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court banning sand quarrying on the entire stretch of the Tamirabarani and the State Government's move a few months ago to ban use of machinery for sand quarrying on Tamirabarani and Palar have put the builders in a spot as availability of river sand has become a problem.

Sand is one of the main materials for construction. There is an acute short supply of sand now and the prices have shot up, says K.Viswanathan, State chairman of the Builders' Association of India. Roughly, two cubic feet of sand is needed for construction of one sq.ft. The price of river sand has increased by nearly 100 per cent. The completion of several private and Government projects, including those under the Kalaignar Veetu Vasadhi Thittam, will be affected, he says.

“Sand is a commodity that our ancestors had left for us. Now the demand for it is growing,” points out D.R. Sekar, president of Coimbatore centre of the Builders' Association of India. Though manufactured sand (M-sand) is an option, the existing plants might not be able to meet the demand, Mr. Sekar adds. There are about 15 units in Coimbatore, Tirupur and Pollachi for M-sand. Some of these are captive plants. The Government should encourage M-sand plants.

Mr. Viswanathan says the State Government should remove the restriction on machine loading of sand in all rivers that have enough sand deposits. A committee should be formed to check the mechanism used for sand quarrying. In places such as Kollidam, manual loading has become almost impossible, he says.



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