Tamil Nadu to sell sand online from July 1.

Tamil Nadu to sell sand online from July 1.

June 29, 2017 | Thursday

Chennai: Online purchase of sand for construction purposes has been made compulsory by the Tamil Nadu government from July 1, in a move aimed at ensuring a hassle free experience for consumers. Henceforth, both truck owners involved in distribution of of sand as well as the general public have to register online for purchasing sand, the government said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami launched a website tnsand.in and a mobile app, tnsand, to cater to the demands of the public and the construction industry for uninterrupted supply of sand. Legislators complained that the cost of sand was manifold, as much as Rs 40,000 per load, when it reached the end-user while the government price was just Rs 1,600 per load. "The public and sand truck operators can buy sand only online from July 1. The move is aimed at meeting the requirements of beneficiaries and to ensure unhindered supply at a reduced cost," said an official statement.

The PWD is holding training programmes for all stakeholders for three days starting Wednesday on how to use the online service. Tamil Nadu government seems to have taken a cue from Telangana in launching the service, say industry sources. Industry sources say the state seems to have taken a cue from Telangana, which has made available an exclusive portal for management and monitoring of sand sale for registration, booking tracking of orders, and inter-state transportation. The portal, with its extensive details, quickly became popular with operators.

"Tamil Nadu's initiative, a long-pending demand of the sector, will help reduce long waits at sand quarries and stockyards," said Tamil Nadu State Sand Lorry Owner's Association President S Yuvaraj.

It now takes a fortnight to load sand from a quarry. The industry has demanded that the sector be streamlined. Associations of developers and sand truck operators called for a day-long hunger strike on July 6. They want the state to open more quarries, to be able to load sand without hiccups, cooperation from the administration, 24-hour CCTV camera surveillance of quarries and stockyards to check irregularities.

A transparent government website could change the situation. "There are only 28 quarries now, mostly in the Cauvery basin. The government should open 70 more quarries, on the Pennar, Palar and Kosasthalaiyar rivers, to meet the demands of northern states," Builders Association of India former President S Radhakrishnan said.