Sand prices spiraling in Chennai, civil engineers forum says

CHENNAI: Claiming that sand prices have gone through the roof due to acute shortage of river sand, a civil engineers forum on Monday sought the Tamil Nadu government's intervention to tide over the crisis. One cubic feet of sand is sold at anywhere between Rs 60 and Rs 75 depending on the demand, said K Venkatachalam, founder president of the Chennai Civil Engineers Association. "Against the daily demand of around 2.8 lakh CFT for the city, approximately 52,500 CFT of sand is only available. Usually, we get sand delivered within a day, but the gap has now increased to five days," he added. He said only five out of 25 sand quarries are operational now. He said the real estate sector had been hit by demonetisation. "First, ban on registration of unapproved plots came as a blow for the construction sector, which was followed by demonetisation. Presently, scarcity for sand has added fuel to it," he said. Venkatachalam sought the government to directly engage in marketing sand mined from riverbeds as it would fetch twice the revenue of what the state-owned TASMAC is generating.