NRDCL solving sand woes

Rinchengang has the potential for 120,000 m3 of sand and the estimated revenue from the site is Nu 3.39 million annually 

One of the challenges faced by the Natural Resources Development Corporation Limited (NRDCL) concerned the existing site at the YBM area, where the river current, fluctuated with even a slight increase in the river volume disrupting dredging negatively and impacting the production and supply of sand.

However, this will no longer be a major factor impeding NRDCL as it can now dredge from the old site at Rinchengang, which has a milder current and suitable form of dredging.

“The new site or the old site at Rinchengang has potential for about 120,000 m3 of sand, which could ease the demand.  Customers would get their orders quicker, and transporters would have more regular earning, and NRDCL meeting its financial and social obligations,” Namgay Wangchuk, General Manager (GM), Mineral Resource Division of NRDCL said.

Given that the Rinchengang has the potential for 120,000 m3 of sand, the estimated revenue from the site is Nu. 3.39 million (mn).

Meanwhile, NRDCL is still concreting the access road to Rinchengang site.  “So, while a boat has been deployed at the site, supply to customers is still done only from the YBM site.  Until we’ve stabilized the road, we’ll only be stocking the sand at Rinchengang,” GM Namgay said. 

“So far, the highest the NRDCL has supplied in a day is 152 truckloads, and with two dredging sites, and receding water volume, we are hoping to supply as many as 300 truckloads a day,” he added.

On other challenges that NRDCL faces in supply of sand in Sha and other parts, the GM said that the challenge in the sand supply is seasonal in nature that monsoon causes.  “Monsoon brings rains which increase the water volume.  When the river volume has increased, it is not only unsafe for our dredgers, but it also difficult to locate the sand spots. To ease the problem in the coming season, we are increasing the number of dredging boats, deploying a sand-sieving machine, and enhancing stock sand,” he said.

GM Namgay also expressed gratitude to customers. “We would like to thank our customers for bearing with us and also appeal to them to avoid misusing the NRDCL app facility.  We’ve informally received feedback that some customers have shared their ID with truckers who order sand on their behalf and take to black market.  While there is no revenue loss to the company, we want to ensure that those in genuine need get the sand directly from us,” he said.

Meanwhile, this news has come as a relief for those constructing buildings. “It is impossible to buy sand in the black market and with this new development, we hope that there will be no issues in supply or sand,” Pema, constructing a building in Thimphu said.  

In November 2007, Forestry Development Corporation Limited (FDCL) was restructured as Natural Resources Development Corporation Limited (NRDCL) as per the Executive Order of the Prime Minister vide letter No PM/01/07/571 dated 7th November 2007 with a mandate to manage sand, stone and other natural resources in addition to timber. NRDCL is owned by Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), which is a 100% government-owned Investment Company and is governed by the Articles of Incorporation under the revised Companies Act of the Kingdom of Bhutan 2000.

It is principally based on what His Majesty the King said. “As a developing country, we have limited resources. We must manage our available resources wisely, minimize waste, and ensure that all our resources are directed at improving the wellbeing of the people, and in fulfilling our national vision.”

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu