“The formulation of the policy will take some time. It is likely to be released by next April,” a senior official said. According to officials, one of the salient features of the policy is to regulate the crusher units producing raw material for M Sand without approval from the state government. Though 320 crusher units are operating across Tamil Nadu, the PWD has approved hardly 60 which adhere to the norms of the assessment committee to ensure quality and standards.
Tamil Nadu State Sand Lorry Owner’s Federation S Yuvaraj charged that substandard M Sand is making its way into the market. “Airwash M Sand is coming from Andhra Pradesh and has a lot of impurities. Similarly, pebbles from locations along the Thamirabarani river in Tirunelveli are crushed into fine particles and marketed as M Sand,” he charged. A developer added that fine dust is making inroads under the garb of M Sand.
More than 60% of the construction sector in Chennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts has shifted to M Sand. The demand in the three districts is around 10,000 loads, with each load measuring an average of 15 tonnes.
Builders’ Association of India’s Southern Centre vice-chairman Ramaprabhu said a policy on M Sand was the need of the hour. “Around 1000 M Sand manufacturers source the raw material from these 320 crusher units to produce it. So, a policy to identify the right suppliers is essential,” he added.