Severe shortage in the twin cities

HYDERABAD: With no signs of a truce between the authorities and the striking truckers, the protest has started to show its impact in almost all the sectors. The latest casualty in this ongoing agitation is the shortage of sand, a key construction material, in the twin cities.

Getting sand for construction has become difficult because the truckers are not transporting the raw material from districts. Despite the slowdown in real estate, demand for sand has remained steady but the supply, however, has been affected.

Whatever little buffer stock of sand available in the market, is mostly of inferior quality commonly known as ‘filtered’ sand. The other variety of sand from Damarkunta, Karimnagar, Makhthal, Mahabubnagar and Vijayawada are in short supply.

Typically, during days of normal supply nearly 500 sand-laden trucks could be found parked near Uppal crossroads. These days, thanks to the strike, there are only 200 trucks of which only 10 to 15 could be found carrying the material. “Most of the stock is filtered sand here. Yet it is sold out,” says T. Srinivas, a truck owner at Uppal.

L. B. Nagar, Kothapet, Uppal, Lalapet, Kukatpally, Alwal and Marredpally have been the traditional selling points of sand in the city. While a large truck has a capacity of 18 tonnes, the smaller ones have a capacity of 10 tonnes.

Rates differ

“We are offering sand at Rs.500 to Rs.600 per tonne. At L.B. Nagar the rates are around Rs. 750 and Rs. 800 and in Marredpally it is Rs. 450 to Rs. 500 per tonne. When the supply is healthy, prices drop by Rs. 50 to Rs. 100 per tonne,” says P. Sanju, a lorry owner from Uppal.

Bargaining

Customers point out that bargaining is the key. “We tried to purchase sand at L.B. Nagar but it was costly. Here at Uppal, we got it for Rs.600 per tonne. It depends on the buyer’s ability to bargain and do the homework before making the purchase,” says T. Balraju, who is renovating his house at Amberpet.

At Lalapet, due to shortage, truckers have stopped selling sand based on weight. “We directly quote our price. My 18 tonne capacity truck is worth Rs. 10,000 and there is no bargaining,” says Eswar Rao at Lalapet.