Shortage of M-sand and blue metal hits construction activities

Stringent implementation of the licence requirement at quarries has affected the construction activity.  

Almost 80 % of construction activities in and around Chennai remain suspended because of high cost of building materials and shortage of M-sand and blue metal, according to builders.

R. Radhakrishnan and M. Mohan, former presidents of Builders Association of India (BAI), and R. Sivakumar, chairman of the Association - Tamil Nadu, told presspersons here on Sunday that price of cement and steel increased by 40 % since January this year. While the construction cost was ₹ 2,000 a sq.ft. earlier, it is ₹2,800 now. Futher, promoters cannot take full input tax credit for the GST paid and hence, most of the hike in raw material prices have been passed on to the consumers. This has led to slowing down of construction activity in both, private and government sectors. In Chennai and nearby districts, the woes of the builders and consumers are compounded by shortage in availability of M-sand and blue metal, they added.

K. Chinnaswamy, president of Tamil Nadu Stone Quarry, Crusher and Lorry Owners’ Association, said of the 3,500 quarries in the State, nearly 1,500 remain shut. The problem started a couple of years ago when the State government asked quarries to get separate licence for stock yards at the quarries and transit pass for movement of the products. There are about 500 quarries in Chennai and nearby areas and at least 30 big quarries are not operating for the last few months.

Only 10 % to 15 % of the two lakh tonnes a day M-sand requirement of the four districts in Chennai region is available now and this has resulted in the prices doubling, said Mr. Sivakumar.

With stringent implementation of the licence requirement at quarries, construction activity is hit badly in Chennai region for the last three or four months, they said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan urged the State and Central governments to redress the grievances of the builders. Mr. Chinnaswamy said the State government should not ask for the transit pass and separate licence for stock yard at the quarries. The BAI organised Builders’ Day events here on Sunday.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 12:12:24 PM |

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