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Acute shortage pushes up price of manufactured sand in Tiruchi

One load of the sand in Tiruchi region costs about Rs. 18,000 now

The price of manufactured sand (M-sand), considered a substitute for the river sand for construction, has shot up to Rs. 18,000 a load because of acute scarcity.

There were not many takers for M-sand till May and it was sold at stone-crushing units at Rs. 600 to Rs. 800 a unit. Ever since the government announced its intent to phase out the river sand quarrying and promote M-sand, there has been a gradual increase in demand. The closure of the sand quarries in Tiruchi region following a High Court order has only accentuated the demand.

The price of M-sand, which had been on the rise gradually from May and June, has gone up to Rs. 3,000 a unit at crusher units in Karur, Perambalur and Pudukottai districts because of acute scarcity of sand in different parts of the State. Construction material suppliers sell one load of M-sand (4 units) at Rs. 18,000 in Tiruchi.

Sourcing from crusher units in Karur and Pudukottai, they send M-sand to Chennai, Thanjavur, Villupuram, Coimbatore and other far away places.

More crushers

Since orders have poured in for M-sand, industry sources said that crusher units, which were concentrating on blue metal crushing, have begun producing M-sand in large quantities.

Besides 20 existing crushers, four more units came up recently in Karur district.

“The price of M-sand has seen three-fold increase since May. Orders continue to pour in from different parts of the State as contractors and engineers struggle to get river sand for various reasons,” says P. Balakrishnan, a supplier of M-sand in Karur.

He said that M-sand now commanded a higher price than blue metal.

The price of blue metal was only Rs. 1,500 a unit. Hence, the crusher units almost stopped crushing blue metal to cash in on demand for M-sand.

G. Jayakumar, a builder at Karumandapam in Tiruchi, said he had not been able to get river sand in the last two months and had to opt for M-sand as an alternative.


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