Chennai: Averring that the use of M-sand (manufactured sand) in the construction industry has fairly improved to about 40 per cent, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said his government is keen on encouraging the industry and people, as well, to shift totally to M-sand in order to conserve the natural resource. He also informed that the government is in the process of finalising tenders for import of sand to meet the requirement.

“As part of an initiative to dissuade the dependence on river sand, which is a precious natural resource, the government is encouraging the construction industry to shift to M-sand.
Though last year has seen only 10 per cent usage of M-sand, its use has improved to 40 per cent now due to increased awareness. We will step up the awareness campaign to ensure cent per cent usage of this sand,” Mr. Palaniswami told the Assembly on Thursday. Replying to the issue raised by the Singanallur MLA N. Karthik belonging to the DMK, he said the government has granted permission to 24 units to manufacture M-sand.

“Construing the importance of this construction material, the government will ensure the needs are met. For instance, several government projects including construction of buildings, housing projects for the poor besides the construction undertaken by the people and the construction industry need regular supplies. Hence, the government has decided to permit import of sand and we are in the process of finalising tenders for import,” the CM said.

Raising the issue after the reply of Ministers: C. Ve. Shanmugam (Mines and Minerals), M. C. Sampath (Industries) and P. Benjamin (Rural Industries) to the House, Karthik sought to know how many M-sand units are functioning in the State and whether licenses have been granted for new manufacturing units. “Sand is an important material for the construction industry and without it, there could be no progress,” he said.

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