Meeting with the Construction Owners for the Supply of Sand from Sha Region

The NRDCL management had a meeting with about 100 construction owners on 01.02.2018. The NRDCL Chief Executive Officer, Sonam Wangchuk said the new system was introduced after extensive consultations with the relevant stakeholders for the benefit of the consumers. He said that the market study was also conducted, which found that there are around 240 approved constructions in Thimphu alone.

The consumers and NRDCL claims that hoarding and deflecting have created an artificial demand in the market and transporters have benefited the most.Some said that sand is so dear and the drivers supplied sand at high rates ranging from 15,000 to 25,000 especially during the lean season when sand supply was short. In the new system, each site is allocated two truckloads of sand a week and the clients will have to deposit the amount to NRDCL, including the transportation cost. The NRDCL will then pay transporters a fixed price depending on the location of the site.

Some customers also said the allocation should be based on the size of the construction. Two truck loads is not enough for bigger buildings. For every construction, 2 T/L is being issued on a weekly basis however depending on the construction type and its construction date, additional supply is also given. Customers do not have issues on where to pay or whom we pay as long as we get uninterrupted sand supply throughout the year. Another contractor also said that sand is short in supply during summer.

The Chairman of NRDCL Board, Dasho Karma W Penjor said that it is because of these reasons that the new system is being put in place. It should have been done 10 years ago, he said. The new system, he said will bring about transparency and predictability in sand price. Unless the government announces major fuel price revision, the transportation cost is not going to change throughout, he said.

In doing so, he said the NRDCL is taking a big risk in ensuring that sand is available at all times. Should there be any shortage of trucks and changes in rate, the NRDCL will have to bear it, Dasho said.

He also mentioned that the transportation charges would be refunded within 48 hours after the delivery of the sand to customer site from the Sha Region. Although, there is good response and support from the Construction owners on the new system, there are complaints from the transporters due to the new payment system as it includes payment of both sand and transportation cost.

For the convenience of the customers, NRDCL management is working on online payment system, getting more sites for supply, two more dredging machines will be deployed soon etc.

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