The Tamil Nadu government on Thursday announced the M-sand policy 2023 to ensure zero waste quarrying in the State. It is also to prevent damage to river ecosystems by rationalising the use of river sand in a conserved manner.
The policy will enable M-sand or crushed sand manufacturing units in the State to become compliant of relevant statutes, rules and regulations and to formalise the sector. The government wants to standardise the procedure for approval of M-sand manufacturing units. It also wants to promote zero-waste mining and quarrying in the State.
Rampant sand mining and continuous depletion of natural aggregates have led to the implementation of the new environmental/land use legislations that has made river sand a scarce commodity. The State government considers M-sand production as an alternative to river sand for construction activities and infrastructural development.
Reduce quarrying wastage
M-sand also helps to reduce wastage of the quarrying process as the stones left can be used to produce M-sand/crushed sand. This offers higher flexural strength, better abrasion resistance, higher unit weight and lower permeability, and is being used today on a large scale in the construction sector.
As on July 4, 2022, in the State a total of 378 crushed stone sand manufacturing units were functioning., the policy note said.
The manufacturing of M-sand involves the crushing of hard rocks, natural gravel and granite waste. The process is similar to generation of river sand by nature.
The policy says that all the M-sand sand manufacturers will mandatorily establish a quality testing lab at their crusher premises and randomly check the quality of the sand produced by them every day.
A single window portal will be developed and maintained by the Department of Geology and Mining for registration of M-sand units.
The implementation of the policy will be reviewed by the Industries, Investment Promotion and Commerce and Department of Geology and Mining in the government. A centralised controlling system will be developed to monitor the activities of the M-sand units, the policy note said.
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