Sequel to High Court imposing a blanket ban on quarrying

Builders in the city are sending SOS to the State government seeking measures to ease the situation arising out of scarcity of sand. The construction activity has almost come to a grinding halt with the High Court banning sand quarrying in the State.

The price of sand has skyrocketed, compelling the builders to slow down the activity. Sand, which used to cost Rs.2,900 per two units (8 to 9 tonnes), is not available even for Rs.6,000.

The problem has cropped up following the ban on quarrying.

Some builders affiliated to Greater Vijayawada Builders have threatened to stop construction activity protesting against steep rise in the price of cement, steel and sand.

The phenomenal increase in the prices of other raw material such as cement, steel, and labour has compounded the problem, according to Vijayawada Builders' Association president A. Siva Reddy.

‘Announce policy'

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Mr. Siva Reddy urged the government to announce its policy on sand quarrying immediately, as the court had asked the government to spell out its policy. Or, at least open one to two reaches for the time being to bail out the realty sector.

The construction activity would peak during March, April, and May. The builders would lose precious time if sand was not available during these three months, he said.

Adverse impact

Non-availability of sand would push the industry into doldrums.

The builders can neither bear the burden nor pass it on to the customers as the flats were already sold at old rates. In all, 200 apartments were under construction in the city.

The slowdown would have adverse impact on 50,000 people, who were either directly or indirectly dependent on the construction activity, he said. Association general secretary R.V. Swamy, treasurer K. Rajendra, and senior builder Y.V. Ramana Rao spoke.

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