Sand suppliers are looking towards Pakistan for importing the commodity - courtesy the Punjab government's failure to effectively enforce the ban on mining in the state and rein in skyrocketing sand prices.
Ajay Gupta, an Amritsar-based trader, has already imported four trucks of sand to meet the huge demand amid the ban on mining in Punjab since August. Another supplier from Amritsar, Randeep Uppal, has imported two trucks.
With sand prices shooting up to Rs 5,000-8,000 per truck (100 cubic ft) largely due to illegal mining, the first-ever consignment from Pakistan reached the Attari integrated check post (ICP) two days ago.
Gupta said it was commercially viable to import sand under the present circumstances. The truckload from Pakistan cost the trader Rs 3,000, including freight charges and customs duty.
"If all goes well, we will be able to import sand for supply in the Majha area up till near Jalandhar," said Gupta.
"The sand from Pakistan is not only cheaper but also of better quality," he said, adding that he had been importing cement from across the border for the past four years.
He claimed that traders from both countries were in regular touch about what was needed on either side.
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