The Kerala government on Tuesday decided to import sand to meet the acute shortage of the material in the state’s construction sector. The decision was taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister . It was decided that the state’s mining and geology department would issue permits for those who want to import sand. The countries identified for import are Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia.
An official communication from the CM’s Office said there were no legal hurdles to import sand in India. The Union government has allowed its import through Kochi sea port.
Kerala requires 3 crore tonnes of sand a year, but only a small part of it is collected from rivers. Due to shortage, the price of the material has gone up to Rs 140 per cubic feet. Import will bring down the price, according to the official release which said the import would mitigate environmental problems caused by excessive mining of river sand.