CHENNAI: The fate of the Tamil Nadu government’s bid to import five lakh tonnes of natural river sand for construction purposes will be known on Friday, when the last day for the bidding process comes to an end.While officials are tight-lipped about how many organisations or individuals have come forward to import the sand, sources confirm that the web page did not have large amount of traffic.“We will know only on Friday how many bids we have received,” the officials said, while rejecting reports that the tender had failed to generate interest.
The move to import sand comes as the real estate sector in Tamil Nadu has come to a standstill due to acute scarcity of river sand, delaying delivery of construction projects and affecting those dependent on the industry.Tenders were floated to procure river sand at a cost of Rs 548.73 crore imported through Adani Katpulli Port, Kamarajar Port and VOC Port. The import of sand directly by the government assumed significance as it came after Tamil Nadu, for the first time, brought in regulations on import and buying sand from outside the State.
To a query on whether there were only a few takers and whether the tender would be altered, the Public Works Department (PWD) officials said that an evaluation would be conducted to find out the reasons for the tender having failed to generate interest, following which a revised tender would be floated.
The price of sand imported will be fixed by the PWD, taking into factors such as country, state, Union Territory from which it is brought, the cost of procurement and applicable taxes or duties. Developers felt that once sand is imported, the rates would come down. River sand shortage has delayed over `10,000-crore worth construction projects and blocked new project launches.