Tamil Nadu rejects poor Assam sand, may have to import
Tamil Nadu government has decided against sourcing river sand from Assam, as the key construction material in the northeastern state does not meet standards. The decision has narrowed down the state’s river sand options of importing it from overseas. Already at least three contractors have submitted their biddings to supply imported sand in the state.
According to public works department (PWD) officials, river sand in Assam was found to be alluvial in nature. “The river sand has a mix of slush, which cannot be used for constructions,” said an official, who is privy to developments. During his visit to Chennai in the first week of January this year, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal had offered sand for construction purposes to Tamil Nadu. Ten days later, a team of PWD officials visited the river courses in the north-eastern state to explore the possibility of importing sand.
However, officials said the sand did not meet the Indian standard specifications that could be used for constructions. “The northeastern state has a plenty of river sand and Assam government was also ready to provide it to other states. But, the sand does not meet the required standards for the construction sector,” the official added. Moreover, the cost of the river sand would spiral because it needs to be ferried through sea. “We do not want to pursue that option any more,” he added.