Bengaluru: Realising that there is an acute shortage of sand in Karnataka and because of exorbitant prices, the State government has decided to import sand from Malaysia and distribute it through Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL).
The government will introduce the sand in the next 15 days and it will be sold in 50 kg bags. The process of packing and deciding the prices has already begun and prices will be fixed by the MSIL as per the requirement and demand of districts, sources said.
A 50 kg bag of Malaysia sand will cost Rs. 190 and 20 bags (one tonne) will cost Rs. 3,800 inclusive of all taxes. Likewise, 10 tonnes will cost a buyer Rs. 38,000 inclusive of all taxes and it will result in a savings of Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 22,000 as the present sand price in State is Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 65,000.
There is an annual demand of 40 lakh metric tonnes of sand in Karnataka and the government has decided to import 36 lakh metric tonnes of sand from Malaysia every year. Agreements have been signed between the Government of Karnataka and the Malaysian Government.
The government had pegged the requirement of imported sand at three lakh metric tonnes per month and had appointed MSIL as the nodal agency to facilitate sourcing and distribution of imported sand.
The government had identified Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Thailand as potential sourcing points. However, a Malaysian firm emerged as the lowest bidder. Sand will be imported through a ship and a ship-load contains around 40,000 to 50,000 metric tonnes. This will be sufficient to bring down the sand prices that have been skyrocketing, moreover, it will prevent exploitation of the State’s natural resources, sources said.
Sources said that sand import from Malaysia will put brakes on illegal sand supply and also the trade where sand is mixed with mud. Packaged sand will put an end to all these issues.
The government has already purchased 55,000 metric tonnes of sand from Malaysia to cater to the immediate demand, once the MSIL starts distributing the sand. Sand shipment is expected to arrive at Chennai and Vishakhapatnam ports in a couple of days. Sources said that the sand will be packed after a team of officers inspect it and give clearance.
Exclusive MSIL warehouses have been constructed in Mysuru, Bidadi, Doddaballapur, Chennasandra in Bengaluru, Hubballi and other places. Sand will be tested even when it is loaded and unloaded, sources said.
Before procuring imported sand from the government, buyers will have to submit documents to local MSIL authorities regarding the need for sand, the building plan, the estimated cost of the house and other details. At present, private operators have been collecting Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh per tonne of sand, so the government has decided to sell sand through MSIL.
A 50 kg bag of Malaysian sand will cost Rs. 190 and 20 bags (one tonne) will cost Rs. 3,800 inclusive of all taxes. Likewise, 10 tonnes will cost a buyer Rs. 38,000.
The present rate of sand in Karnataka for 10 tonnes is Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 65,000 and if Malaysian sand is purchased, a buyer will incur a savings of Rs. 12 to Rs. 22,000 per 10 tonnes.
EXISTING RATES IN STATE
One truckload of sand – Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 65,000
One tractor load of sand – Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 6,000
One truckload of Tiruchi sand – Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 1.20 lakh
How many tonnes per load?
A truck when filled to its body level is 10 tonnes
A truck when higher than its body level is 12 tonnes
Malaysia sand prices per 50 kg bag
Bengaluru -Rs. 190
Mysuru – Rs. 200
Hubballi – Rs. 220