Bengaluru, Dec 30, 2018: Even as Karnataka reels under shortage of sand, 3 lakh tonnes of imported sand from Malaysia has piled up at the Mangaluru and Krishnapattinam ports.
At present, there are 1.5 lakh tonnes of Malaysian sand each at the two ports. Karnataka faces a shortage of 2-3 million tonnes of sand, with the demand close to 33 million tonnes. The imported sand is procured 0by individual organisations which had applied for licences.
Secretary for mines Rajendra Kumar Kataria said there is little demand for the imported sand from ports on account of high price and lack of clarity on the definition of “importers” to give licence to bring the sand inland. “However, there has been a change in the definition of importers and licences have now been issued to seven entities to lift sand from ports,” Kataria said. Despite this, there’s little interest among people to take sand from the docks.
“According to the current pricing, importers say lifting sand from the docks alone will cost Rs 2,000 per tonne vis-a-vis Rs 800 or Rs 1,000 per tonne for bringing manufactured sand to the market,” said Kataria.
He said the government is in the final phase of preparing a fresh sand mining policy and is awaiting teams which have gone to study policies in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.