Mangaluru, June 17, 2018: A new announcement of the state government says sand was imported from Malaysia six months back, but the 52,129 metric tons of the imported sand costing crores of rupees, has remained unused at the port here due to legal hindrances!
Aakar Enterprises Company from Chennai had come forward to provide imported sand from Malaysia during the administration of the previous government. Ship called ‘Tor Infinity’ brought the sand consignment from Pikon port to New Mangalore Port on December 2018. Though the imported sand of more than 52,000 tons was deposited at the yard in the port, but since the permit for sale of the sand in the state was not procured, the sand still remains dumped in the yard. The company also has to pay the rent for keeping the sand at the port at the rate of 4.5 lakh rupees per month and has so far spent 27 lakh rupees since the past 6 months for this, it’s being said. For these reasons it can be observed that Aakar Company which brought imported sand worth crores of rupees for the first time to the state has fallen into trouble waters since it cannot sell its consignment.
On the other hand, another company named ISPC imported 45,000 metric tons of sand from Malaysia through New Mangalore Port, a fortnight back. After finalizing the import permit, the sale of the sand will begin soon. Also the sand can be bid through online and has to be sold in retail at the pre-established government price, informed the officials of geology and mines department.
Minister for mining and geology has already clarified that the department is running the process of giving the permission to distribute the sand imported at Mangalore port and Krishnapattnam port of Andhra Pradesh. Now, there is the possibility that the legal and technical hindrances faced by the 52,000 metric tons of sand imported from Malaysia and deposited at Mangalore port be solved.
The previous Siddaramiah led state government decided to import sand from abroad in order to provide sand at a lower price to the customer in the place of lack of sand in the state and its high price. For the first time, permission was given to import 5 lakh tons of sand from Malaysia. In that backdrop, the Chennai based Aakar Enterprises imported 52,129 metric tons of sand from Malaysia to New Mangalore Port. The state government has already provided the permits to distribute imported sand to 6 companies including Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL).
Transportation: As per the earlier state government road map for sale of imported sand, there was no opportunity to transport the sand in open trucks. Instead, the imported sand was to be transported in sacks and with packing. But now, the rule has been rectified and permission has been given for the trucks to fill up at the port and transport it separately.
35 million tons demand : There is 9 million tons of sand available per year in Karnataka state and most of it is mined from the rivers. Currently, the demand for sand annually is 35 million tons. Since there is a huge gap in the demand and supply of sand, permission was granted to import sand from abroad. The natural river sand from Malaysia was valued at 3,900 rupees per ton.