CHENNAI: The Public Works Department has given approval for 24 crushed sand manufacturing units or M-Sand units for use in construction industry. The approval was given to the units after the sites were inspected and quality of the M-sand was tested.
PWD sources said the assessment committee headed by Engineer-in-chief (Buildings) gave its concurrence to the 24 manufacturing units. The move comes as the State is facing sand crisis and a total of 10 million sq feet of construction projects are affected.
It is learnt that the assessment was carried out after PWD officials were reluctant to use manufactured sand in construction activities as it was found that quarry dust containing flaky particles and higher percentage of micro fines (particles less than 75 micron) being supplied in the name of manufactured sand and these could affect the quality of concrete and other works.
These include field tests on crushed stone sand wherein the excess presence of quarry dust can be found out by rubbing it between the fingers. S Ram Prabhu, secretary, Builders Association of India, who is part of the assessment committee told Express that 50 more companies are awaiting PWD’s approval.
“Quality had been an issue with M-sand and now after the certification and approval, developers can buy sand from these companies. He said no Chennai-based firms have got approval till now. He said the demand for river sand is still high. The only solace is the price of M-sand which was around `70 per cubic feet has come down recently to`Rs 55 to `60 per cubic feet due to large-scale manufacturing. He said there is a need to monitor the quality of M-sand regularly.
He also highlighted that the State government is likely to open up seven more quarries. Besides there are plans to raise the cost of sand to Rs 850 to 875 per truck load. Earlier, the sand was being sold only for`600.
Some of the companies given approval
1. Thriveni Earth Movers
Location: Agraharam Village, Hosur
2. Thriveni Earth Movers
Location: Kukkalapalli Village, Krishnagiri
3. SRC Projects
Location: Chithathur Village, Tiruvannamalai
4. SRC Projects
Location: Ondikadai, Salem
5. Coimbatore Minerals
Location: Kinathukadavu, Coimbatore
6. Sri Blue Metals
Location: Kannarpalayam, Karamadai
7. Sunblues Blue Metals
Location: Sengadu village, Walajah Taluk
8. Salem Mines and Aggregates
Location: Kunnavakam Village, Kancheepuram