Builders who are still grappling with the issues of sand are now facing a possible strike threat by centering contractors demanding hike in their rates, writes T. Lalith Singh

Even before the confusion of sand supplies got solved and supplies restored, builders on the city outskirts are faced with apprehensions of trouble brewing on another front. Now, there is a threat looming large with the possibility of some centering contractors operating on the suburbs in particular, going on a strike.

Demanding a hike in their rates, the contractors are said to be considering the option of a strike and a decision on this is expected around the weekend.

Builders who are still grappling with the issues of sand have started to worry more given the possibility of workers not reporting for slab work once the sand supplies are restored.

According to them, the contract rates for centering work have not been hiked for almost five years and this could push the workers into some action such as abstaining from work and demand more.

“A civil works mason used to get Rs.55 to Rs.60 about five years back and now he is getting around Rs.90 odd where as for centering, the rate has remain the same at Rs.10 per sft,” concedes a builder.

As it is, given the no-supply of sand for the last month or so, the works related to slab laying have been stopped. “In some cases, they have fixed up entire paraphernalia but work is stopped due to sand scarcity. They can neither remove it nor lay the slab,” says C.Prabhakar Rao, President, Greater Hyderabad Builders Federation.

Even if the raw material supply is restored at the earliest, the centering work for small projects on the city outskirts could be affected. “Big projects and high rise construction will not face problems from centering contractors but the smaller ones will be affected,” says Venkat Reddy, President, Uppal Builders Association.

Usually, a team of centering workers is formed by one among them and he deals with the builders, take contracts and receive payments for further disbursement among the other workers.

Keywords: real estate