A sand trader said, “Malaysian sand is sold for around Rs 3,900 to Rs 4,000 per ton in the city. Imported sand is new to Mysuru district, but response to it has been very encouraging.”
He added that apprehensions about Manufactured Sand or M-Sand had also driven the demand for imported sand. “The quality of imported sand is comparable with that of what is available on the river banks. Although it is new to the market, there is demand for it,” the trader said.
Since the state government was directly involved in importing sand, the trader said that transporting the commodity posed no problem. Consequently, fears over possible damage to the environment have reduced to some extent. “Everyone is hopeful of the demand rising once the market stablises,” a trader said.
Harish, an engineer, however voiced concerns over the price of imported sand. “Presently, a ton of local sand is available for Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,200, while plastering sand costs Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,500 for the same quantity,” Harish said.
Customers, meanwhile, are happy with the entry of imported sand to the market since it reduces dependence on M-sand. “Despite the state government’s nod for use of M-sand in construction projects, there are reservations about endurance of these structures built using it. Supply of natural sand reduced following introduction of M-sand. Hope sand imported from Malaysia bridges the gap in supply,” said Vasu, a resident of Ramakrishnanagar.