Though large quantities of sand are available at the river basins of the Krishna and Godavari, the industry continues to face a shortage.
With continuous floods in the Krishna river, all sand reaches in the district were closed. Officials dumped huge quantities of sand at stock points but opened Chevitikallu sand reach, which led to 132 trucks being washed away.
After the incident, mining authorities and a private agency started sand sales at stock points. Sand usually costs Rs 425 per metric tonne at reaches and river bunds on normal days but is now sold at Rs 720 per metric tonne at stock points.
A sand truck carrying 18 metric tonnes of the material from Ibrahimpatnam stock point is selling at Rs 32,000 in Vijayawada city.
With prices of sand determining the cost of a project, many builders have stalled constructions. Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (Credia), AP unit urged the state government to reduce the sand price immediately to revive construction activity.
“Lakhs of labourers are dependent on the construction industry. Sudden increase in sand price has hampered their lives. We are not in a position to continue constructions at this price. Government should revise the price,” said R V Swamy, media secretary of Credai, AP unit.
Trade unions and political parties have also raised the issue of price rise. “The government is adding a huge burden on the common man who wishes to own a house. Earlier, builders used to buy sand in the black market at an exorbitant price. But the government officially permitted a private agency to sell sand at double the price. We will continue our fight till the government revises the sand policy,” said K Rama Krishna, CPI state secretary.