HYDERABAD: Poor supply of river sand has forced many builders to put on hold construction work in the city. Thanks to heavy rains, miners have not been able to extract sand from riverbeds for some time now. Water levels in Tungabhadra, Godavari and Krishna -considered gold mines for sand -are too high for miners to carry out extraction work, forcing them to wait. The city gets most of its sand from the rivers in Khammam, Mahbubnagar and Medak.
Another major issue being faced is the poor quality of sand available post the heavy showers. “During the monsoon, water levels around river banks rise and sand mixes with black soil from beyond the banks. This kind of sand is unfit for construction purposes as it compromises the strength of the cement and sand mixture. This year, the rain was heavier than usual and caused a flood-like situation making matters even worse,“ said B Hemu, assistant director, National Academy of Construction.
Having to make do with this black soil mixed sand, Ganesh, a builder from Alwal, said, “Sand that we have been procuring from Dammaiguda has a lot of black soil content. When we sieve the sand, about half the amount gets left behind which is black soil.“ Sand is an integral part of the mix that makes up cement concrete RCC for load-bearing pillars and slabs buildings. At the moment, only sand with heavy black soil is available. Leading sand contractors are therefore holding back construction at major sites. Many said they were restricting themselves to plastering work with ‘robo-sand’ that is available.
“We have halted construction as this is the only kind of sand currently available in the market and we cannot compromise the structural stability of buildings. This sand however gives smooth finish to the walls and is good for plastering,“ Hemu said. According to Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation officials, the current situation is uncommon for the state, as it does not receive such high rainfall every year.
“Separating black soil from sand is a tedious task and many workers refuse to do it. Using this as an excuse, they charge exorbitant amounts for labour leading to a rise in the cost of construction by as much as 20 per cent. Earlier, a truckload of good sand used to cost Rs.3,000, but now the price has gone up to Rs.6,000,“ said an SMDC official.
Speaking about how construction work had been hit, G V Rao, managing director, Galton Realty and president of Telangana developers’ association, said, “There is not much river sand available in the market.The kind available is laced with black soil. So there might be a slight lull in construction activity. When river sand becomes available and prices settle down, all work will begin.“
credits ET Realty