Online sand portal: A relief for buyers in Andhra Pradesh

Skyrocketing prices and unfettered mining have cumulatively paved the way for the shortage of sand in India. With sand increasingly becoming scarce in several regions, the Government has come up with multiple measures to solve its crisis in the construction industry. One such initiative is the availability of sand online, introduced by the government of Andhra Pradesh.

Excessive mining on the river beds to meet the burgeoning demand for construction has caused severe ecological imbalance. Not only the rivers but even the wetlands are being exploited for sand mining. As a result, the sand available nowadays contains a high percentage of silt and clay that is deemed to be unfit for construction purposes. Moreover, with less than one-third of the sand quarries operational in a State like Tamil Nadu, the country is facing a crisis that has crippled several of its infrastructural projects. The scenario has even increased the sand prices up to a great extent.

As apprised by T Chandra Sekhar, Technical Director, Aparna Enterprises, “The booming infrastructure of our country requires extensive use of sand, which is rudimentary in order to produce concrete. The continuous mining of natural sand from river beds is causing significant damage to the ecosystem. The depletion of natural sand in river beds can cause deepening of rivers and expansion of coastal inlets and river mouths. Knowing that sand takes several years to form, many States have banned the mining of sand from river beds. Even though this makes it tough for the construction companies to procure natural sand for construction, the developers are encouraged to look for more sustainable and viable alternatives to river sand.”

The shortage of river sand has raised serious concerns amid the builder fraternity, due to which, multiple States have come up with measures to tackle the issue. These include desilting of dams, allowing quarries post clearance from Geology Department, the introduction of sand mining policy, and identification of more banks for sand mining.

In a recent move, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided to implement a stock point system, similar to the one prevalent in Telangana. As per the new system, the material will be made available to the buyers through an online portal. The buyers can pay the charges along with the transportation cost online and get the sand delivered directly to their homes. As opined by the experts, the measure will facilitate the buyers in the procurement of sand and eliminate the involvement of Mafia in the procedure.  Moreover, the buyers can get the sand at the correct market price. The sand booking policy is to enhance transparency in the system, along with the control of the government on sand reaches across the State.

At present, the facility is available not only for general customers but also for orders in bulk. The term ‘general customers’ here includes individuals who want to procure sand for domestic or personal use; whether it is for the construction of a new dwelling or repairs to the existing house. Bulk customers include real estate developers, private, and government contractors. 

Reportedly, there are 395 major sand reaches in Andhra Pradesh and it is the duty of their respective district collectors to take care of them. In case of online booking, it is the Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation Limited (APMDC) that will take care of the bookings across the State. Those who wish to place their orders online need to visit the official website of APMDC and obtain relevant details, including sand yards, current prices, order tracking, and online payment.

Steps for online sand booking in Andhra Pradesh:

  • Visit the official portal of Andhra Pradesh online sand booking
  • A pop up will appear on the screen providing options of registration for general and bulk customers
  • Click the registration options depending upon your need, provide the mobile number and request for One time Password (OTP)
  • Enter the OTP and click submit
  • Upon clicking on the submit button, provide details of Aadhar in case you are a general customer and GST number in case of bulk orders
  • In case you are a general customer, provide details including your name, district, Mandal, Address, and Pin code post verification of the Aadhar. On the contrary, if you are a bulk consumer, enter the company name, trade name, mobile number, and address details as per GST.
  • Check the details and click on the registration box to enable the Register tab
  • Lastly, click on register to complete the process and proceed to order sand

Shortage of sand is a major issue, having significant socio-political, economic, and environmental implications. In the wake of this fact, measures such as online booking will indeed help the consumers to fulfil their requirements up to a certain extent. Not only will it benefit the developers in terms of reduced transportation cost but will also prevent the misuse of sand to a great extent.