M-Sand, a solution to construction woes: DC

M-Sand, a solution to construction woes: DC

Takes note of gap between demand and supply of sand

M-Sand, a solution to construction woes: DC

Manufactured sand – known as M-sand – can be an alternative to natural river sand, said Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim.

Speaking at a meeting on M-sand here on Monday, he said that there was a huge gap between the demand and supply of sand in the state and the government was looking to promote the production of M-sand to meet the supply gap from natural sand.

The ban on extraction of sand from the river during monsoon, construction activities take a serious hit. With the use of M-sand, such activities too can continue, even during the monsoon, explained the deputy commissioner.

Manoj Shetty, Trident Infrastructure managing partner, who made a presentation on M-sand, said builders have come across instances of quarry dust being sold as M-sand in the state.

“If the M-sand is of substandard quality, then cracks will develop in the building. Substandard M-sand – ie, quarry dust – may go unnoticed even by the construction workers, who have no knowledge of the product,” he said.

“M-sand of different grades, from grade 7.5 to 100, is preferred for different types of construction work. Up to 75% of the construction activities in Bengaluru is carried out with the help of M-sand,” he said, adding that ready mix industries use 100% of M-sand for the work.

“If the natural sand has salt content in it, then the buildings will develop cracks. M-sand is nothing but segregated quarry dust.” He said that the demand for sand in Bangalore is 16 lakh tonne a month. It was two to three lakh tonne a month 10 years ago.

“As the rivers cannot support the increase in demand for sand, finding an alternative to natural sand is the need of the hour. There are around 25 M-sand manufacturers in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, and a majority of them are situated in Karkala in Udupi and Vittal in Dakshina Kannada districts. With the availability of natural sand in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts, the M-sand is transported outside the district as well.”

The cost of M-sand per load is Rs 7,500 in Mangaluru. The cost of natural sand in Bengaluru is Rs 2,000 a tonne while M-sand is sold between Rs 900 and Rs 1,500 a tonne, based on the grades.

Karnataka State Pollution Control Board Officer Rajashekar Puranik said that the KSPCB licence should be obtained for starting a M-sand unit.

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