The demand for real estate has grown at a rapid pace in India. This has further paved the way for enhanced construction and infrastructure development in the country. In a scenario where there is a shortage of sand, alternatives such as M-sand are steadily gaining prominence.
Natural sand or river sand, as it is commonly referred to, is one of the principal components of concrete along with other alternates. It is a non-renewable resource which is always high on demand for construction purposes. Over the past few years, the industry has been impacted heavily by the scarce availability of quality sand. Manufactured Sand or M-Sand is one of the strong alternates that have emerged in the recent past and has gradually gained acceptance in the construction industry.
M-Sand is made out of rocks by the artificial process, and it differs from river sand in its properties and nature. It is obtained from specific hard rock (granite) using the first quality technology, and therefore, it has all the desired properties of sand. M-Sand does not have any silt materials or organic impurities which are best-suited for concrete construction. This makes it an ideal alternative for natural sand. With the increasing acceptance of M-Sand as a solid alternative, the demand for this material is increasing day-by-day owing to several factors.
Availability of river sand is challenging: Increase in population has been a driving factor for the growth of real estate in India. Sand being a key element in the construction of homes, has crossed the resource scale in terms of consumption. Unavailability of pure natural river sand is one of the primary and fundamental reasons for the developers to look at alternates like M-Sand.
Environmental and Government regulations: Usage of manufactured sand prevents dredging of river beds. Consumption of river sand for construction may lead to environmental challenges such as groundwater depletion and water scarcity among others. The Government has regulated laws pertaining to usage of river sand and has also encouraged the developers to use alternates such as M-Sand as a measure to protect the environment. This also increases the productivity of construction at the site.
Limited suppliers: Tamil Nadu real estate industry faces a domestic shortfall of sand. The depots supply approximately 2,500 lorry loads which is less in comparison to the existing demand in the State, which stands at 35,000 lorry loads every day. With the legal units in the selected districts operating at maximum capacity, there is still a widening gap of supply and demand. To bridge this gap, developers are increasingly relying on M-Sand as an alternative.
Transportation and logistical issues: With natural sand becoming a scarce resource, availability of sand in proximity is also a challenge crippling the real estate industry. To tackle the domestic supply shortfall, the developers are sourcing natural sand from different parts of the country. With developers relying on the third parties for transportation and logistics, skyrocketing prices of sand is a growing concern in the real estate industry. M-Sand on the other hand, is readily available, which is again a prominent factor behind its rising popularity.