Realtors tilt towards M-sand
The quantity of river sand being transported to the city has plunged from 500 units on an average to 50 units per day. On the other hand, small-scale realtors are reluctant on using M-sand, as they are waiting for the state government to relax norms for mining sand.
About six months ago, a unit of river sand was available for Rs 12,000 per unit. “Today, we are getting it for Rs 30,000 per unit. This has resulted in all small-scale realty projects coming to a standstill,” said the president of Coimbatore Civil Engineers’ Association, R Karthick.
The city is slowly shifting towards the use of M-sand, realtors say. “The shift is slow but it is not going to be permanent. The people who have stopped construction work due to the lack of availability of river sand at buyable prices are willing to wait even for six more months for the prices to come down,” said Karthick. “Also, there is lack of awareness among people and small-scale real estate dealers about the use of M-sand,” he added.
However, large-scale real estate dealers are positive about the use of M-sand for construction. Speaking at a press conference recently, the president of Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association, Coimbatore, Rajesh B Lund said, “It is high time people started using M-sand for construction. It is better than the river sand and can be easily available.”
At present there are 12 M-sand manufacturing units in Coimbatore. “We want more and more people to start manufacturing M-sand. The requirement is nearly 500 units per day, but we get only around 100 units,” said Lund. On the other hand, Karthick said quarry owners, who could easily start manufacturing M-sand, are reluctant about setting up the infrastructure fearing loss once prices of river sand fall.
Karthick also urged for setting up a monitoring body that will look at the quality of M-sand manufactured and supplied in the state. “There is a National Building Code that prescribes the quality of M-sand. If the state government sets up a monitoring body, we will be able to promote M-sand in the city,” said Karthick.