Sand to be imported from Malaysia before Dec-end

The first consignment of sand from Malaysia is expected to arrive before the end of December, with the Mysuru Sales International Limited almost ready with the modalities of the import process.

"Now is when the demand for sand will soar, since the rains have stopped. The rules for the import of sand from Malaysia are being finalised. We should start getting the sand in December," Law Minister T B Jayachandra said.

The state government wants to import sand in the wake of shortage and skyrocketing prices. MSIL is the nodal agency tasked with procurement and distribution of imported sand. Jayachandra said the imported sand will cost anywhere between Rs 3,500 and Rs 3,800. It is expected to cost Rs 175 for a 50-kg bag in Bengaluru.

The government has amended rules governing sand mining in the state. "Earlier, we formed district-level task forces to permit sand mining, but it didn't work and hundreds of applications are pending. Now, we have authorised the commissioner of the mines and geology department to give approvals," Jayachandra said. "We are also identifying traditional sand miners in the coastal regulation zone in Mangaluru."

Jayachandra said vehicles of those caught transporting sand illegally would be seized.

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