Tamil Nadu has seen an increase in construction work lately
Construction boom in Tamil Nadu and the consequent increase in demand for bricks has resulted in migration of construction workers, besides choking construction activity in neighbouring Chamarajanagar district.
The ‘temporary' boom in construction is being attributed to the ensuing elections to Legislative Assembly in Tamil Nadu. Construction activity in Chamarajanagar, the most backward district in the State came to a grinding halt as shortage of bricks has affected construction workers to a greater extent. Those who have commenced construction have also stopped work, hoping that the situation may improve.
According to Govindaraj, president of the Masons' Association, construction workers have started migrating to neighbouring States like Kerala and Tamil Nadu in search of work. Attributing the crisis to the massive housing programme taken up by the Tamil Nadu government, he notes that contractors are transporting huge quantity of bricks from Chamarajanagar and as a result, price of brick has sky-rocketed from Rs. 3,000 per 1,000 bricks to Rs. 5,200 in the last few months.
In view of ensuing election, Tamil Nadu government has decided to complete the housing projects envisaged for poor and construction activity is going on in brisk pace. As contractors who have taken up the work are not getting enough supply of bricks from various brick- making units in Tamil Nadu, they have resorted to procuring huge quantity bricks being produced in Chamarajanagar, he says.
Besides, incessant rains that lashed Tamil Nadu have affected manufacturing of bricks and there is a scarcity of bricks for construction activity. Another factor that created demand for bricks manufactured in Chamarajanagar is its quality. Red clay that is being used in manufacturing of bricks is the specialty of the ‘Chamarajanagar bricks'. There are more than 300 brick manufacturing units in and around Chamarajanagar and it is widely believed that using the bricks manufactured by red clay will increase the durability of the construction; hence there is demand for the product. Contractors are transporting bricks to nearby Coimbatore, Erode, Talawadi, Satyamangala and other places, he observes.
However, brick manufacturers are a happy lot now. They are reaping the benefit by increasing the price per brick. Amjad Pasha, who has a brick manufacturing unit near Chamarajanagar town produces over 50,000 bricks in a month, admits that demand from Tamil Nadu has helped brick manufacturers to make a little fortune.