JAIPUR: Riding on new mines, reduced cost of processing, durability and variety, granite is giving marble a run for its money. In the past 3-4 years, the industry has drawn large number of investors who have set up more than 100 units investing around Rs 500-600 crore in the Kishangarh.
Ashok Dhoot, vice-chairman of Centre for Development of Stones, an arm of the industry department, said the whole economics of price and quality has turned favourable for the granite as compared to marble.
“If you drive down from Kishangarh on the Makrana Road, for up to 25-30 km you can see over 100 units buzzing on both sides of the road. On average, each unit requires at least Rs 5 crore investment and there are also units where people have invested up to Rs 50-100 crore. Rough estimates suggest the investments made there can easily cross Rs 500 crore to Rs 600 crore. Interestingly, many have replaced their marble units with granite ones,” said Dhoot.
While the price of granite stones from south India, considered somewhat better, starts from Rs 150 per sq ft onwards, in Rajasthan the range begins from Rs 50, which is almost the cost of marble.
“In Rajasthan, granite today comes almost at the same price marble is sold. The identification of new granite mines, increased volume of production and newer technologies like multi-wire cutting machines have reduced the overall cost, making the products cheaper. The new economics along with the quality is shifting demand in favour of granite products,” said Dhoot.
As per the state department of mines and geology report, production of granite has increased by 48% in 2016-17, from 25.86 lakh tonnes to 38.42 lakh tonnes. In fact, there is a quantum jump in metrics like mining leases, employment, revenue, etc between 2011-12 to 2016-17 during which many of the mines were identified and leased out (see graphics).
“Besides exports, the demand in the domestic market is growing for granite stones as they come in hundreds of colours and textures unlike marble. They can be used for flooring, wall cladding and structural works. Apart from durability, granites bring in elegance and aesthetics to any building,” said another CDOS official.
Granite reserves in Rajasthan are estimated at 8479 million cubic metre out of 42916 million cubic metre in the country and are spread in districts like Barmer, Jalore, Pali, Sirohi, Alwar, Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Tonk, Ajmer, Bhilwara, Sikar and Udaipur. Quarries in Jalore, Barmer and Jaisalmer produce a wide variety of stones.
Source: Srikanta Tripathy | TNN |