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Restrictions clamped on sand mining in Kerala are going to help Kochi port to gain more revenue. Real estate companies are expected to depend on imported sand to meet the growing demand and Kochi port sees it as an opportunity to enhance its cargo throughput.
Kochi port is to dedicate a berth for handling sand and to create an additional storage facility. It had earmarked a 20,000 square metre area in two places in Willingdon Island, which will be able to store one lakh tonne of sand.
To cater sand to the markets in South India, a Chennai-based company recently started importing sand from Cambodia. Several sand distributing agencies also evinced interest in the project, especially after the Kerala High Court eased norms on imported sand. As a result, construction sand will not require PQ clearance.
The port sources said that it is now toying with the idea of setting up an exclusive sand terminal, which will be the first in South India. The project will not require major investments; the only requirement is upgradation of the existing facilities at the port.