VIJAYAWADA: The construction industry is in a limbo with the sudden shortage of sand across Krishna and Guntur districts. All sand reaches in the district are closed with water levels increasing at Prakasam Barrage.
Construction activity across the state had registered a boost from June after the increasing case numbers of the Covid-19 second wave came down. The housing project of the state government saw the demand for sand rise across the district. Builders purchased sand directly at the reach from the agency appointed by the government.
But from July 20, sand reaches remained closed with huge inflows at Prakasam Barrage. With builders running short of sand, prices in the black market rose from Rs 350 to Rs 1,200 per tonne.
“Construction activity stalled all of a sudden with the sand shortage. Flood levels are rising every day at Krishna river and it is estimated that the flood will continue till the second week of August. Many brokers are taking advantage of the situation and selling sand in the black market,” said R V Swamy, media cell convener of CREDAI, adding that AP Mineral Development Corporation should start the sale of sand stored at stock points.
Labourers and mason workers, too, expressed concerns about the situation. “We lost all our savings with the Covid-19 crisis. Recovery started recently. But the sand shortage has again affected us. The government should help us,” said M Simhachalam, a mason worker from Kandrika.
When TOI contacted APMDC about the sand shortage, officials said sales at stock points would start shortly after prices were fixed. This would take between three to five days, they added.