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Skyrocketing Prices of Sand Dealing a Blow to Construction Work in Hyderabad

The construction industry in Hyderabad is facing a severe setback as the prices of fine sand have surged dramatically, causing disruptions in various construction projects across the city. Previously available at rates ranging from ₹1,200 to ₹1,600 per tonne, the cost of fine sand has now skyrocketed to ₹2,200 to ₹2,500 per tonne, marking an increase of nearly ₹1,000 per tonne.

This significant surge in prices has translated into a considerable hike in costs for buyers and builders alike. The cost per tipper lorry, which typically carries around 25 tonnes of sand, has surged from approximately ₹35,000 to a staggering ₹55,000-₹60,000.

Additional Burden on Buyers

The surge in sand prices is expected to burden buyers, especially those investing in smaller properties such as independent houses or 2-BHK flats. According to N Praveen, president of the Telangana State Realtors Association, the increased sand prices could impose an additional financial burden of up to ₹2 lakh on buyers of such properties, considering the quantity of sand required for construction.

Impact on Sand Suppliers

The surge in sand prices has also had adverse effects on sand suppliers, with many reporting a decline in business due to buyers and builders hesitating to purchase sand at inflated prices. Sridhar, a sand supplier based in the city, emphasized the critical role of river sand in construction and highlighted the potential hardships faced by small and medium-scale buyers as a result of the price hike.

Artificial Shortage Concerns

Officials from the Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation (TSMDC) have raised concerns regarding the possibility of an artificial shortage of sand in the market. While sand operations remain normal in most areas, officials suspect that some suppliers may have intentionally created scarcity to capitalize on increased demand and drive prices higher.

Government Intervention Needed

In light of the escalating sand prices and their impact on the construction industry, stakeholders are urging government intervention to address the underlying issues affecting sand prices. Calls have been made for the state government to step in and resolve any issues contributing to the surge in prices, thereby alleviating the financial strain on buyers and builders.

Challenges Faced by Sand Suppliers

City-based sand suppliers have highlighted logistical challenges, including restrictions on lorry routes and delays in payment clearance by the government. E Ramana, another sand supplier, cited obstacles faced by lorry drivers due to religious gatherings, resulting in increased fuel consumption and reduced profitability.

Pending Bills and Supply Constraints

Issues such as pending bills owed by the government to tribal societies involved in sand extraction have also contributed to supply constraints in certain districts. TSMDC officers have pointed out that pending bills amounting to ₹80 crore over the past two years have led to disruptions in sand procurement, exacerbating the challenges faced by buyers in accessing sand.

In conclusion, the surge in sand prices poses significant challenges to the construction industry in Hyderabad, impacting buyers, builders, and suppliers alike. Urgent government intervention is needed to address supply constraints, mitigate artificial shortages, and stabilize prices, thereby ensuring the smooth progress of construction projects across the city.

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