Govt to import sand from Malaysia

08-08-2017
DH

A Mala­ysian company has been shortlisted for import of sand, a move the state government hopes will ensure availability of sand at an affordable price. 

The imported sand will be available in Bengaluru at Rs 175 for a 50kg bag. 

“The company has emerged as the most competitive bidder having quoted an all-inclusive price of Rs 3,450 per tonne,” Law Minister T B Jayachandra said on Monday, declining to name the company as the process was still under way. 

“This works out to about Rs 35,000 per truckload of sand, which is way cheaper than the current price in the state,” he said. The move will also help conserve the state’s natural resources, he added. The state government had floated a global tender through the Mysore Sales International Ltd (MSIL), in the wake of sand shortage and skyrocketing prices. MSIL is the nodal agency tasked with procurement and distribution of imported sand.

“We are in talks with the Railways to set up yards where the imported sand will be stored and sold. 

“We also plan to have 200 lorries stationed at strategic locations to sell the sand.” Authorities are yet to fix rates for other districts. 

Jayachandra added that the imported sand will be rationed to ensure only those who are in genuine need get the supply. “Steps will also be taken to ensure that sand is not diverted to realty firms.” 

To hasten the process of issuing licences for building stone (M-Sand) quarries, Jayachandra said the state government would write to the Centre to establish a state-level environmental clearance committee. “Quarry leases below two acres are cleared by district-level committees, but there is no committee at the state level,” he said.

Wildlife sanctuaries and deemed forests came in the way of licences, but most quarries fall outside the forest purview, he pointed out. 

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