Context: The Rajasthan government has announced its support for the use of manufactured sand (M-Sand) as a cost-effective and convenient alternative to river sand
- As per the M-Sand Rajasthan policy introduced in 2021, it is mandatory to use at least 25% M-Sand in government construction projects.
- M-Sand units have been granted industrial status, allowing them to benefit from the Rajasthan Industrial Promotion Scheme (RIPS) 2019, which includes subsidies and concessions on taxes and fees.
What is M sand?
M-Sand, or Manufactured Sand, is an alternative to natural river sand used in construction. It is produced by crushing rocks or quarry stones to obtain sand particles of consistent size and shape.
It has similar properties to natural sand, making it suitable for various construction purposes. It is cost-effective, readily available, and reduces the need for mining natural sand.
It also requires less water for construction projects as it does not need to be washed before use.
Differences between M-Sand and natural sand:
|Cubic form, enhancing bonding
|Flaky, sharp, and angular grains
|Zero silt content
|Silt content ranging from 3-20%
|Manufactured in a controlled environment
|No strict control, and variations in silt content
|High concrete strength
|Lower concrete strength
|Requires production and availability may vary
|Naturally occurring, availability depends on the riverbed
|Reduces the need for natural sand mining, repurposes waste materials
|This can lead to environmental degradation, habitat destruction, and water scarcity
|Can be more cost-effective as it can be produced in large quantities at a lower cost
|Cost may vary based on availability and location
Sand is classified as a ‘minor mineral’ under Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957, and administrative control vests with State Governments. Sustainable Sand Mining Management Guidelines 2016, issued by MoEFCC, encourages scientific sand mining and environmentally friendly management method.