Sand shortage delays construction projects by 4 months | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Sand shortage delays construction projects by 4 months

mumbai Updated: May 02, 2010 01:28 IST
Naresh Kamath

If you have booked a flat in an under-construction project, you may have to prepare yourself for a long wait for your keys.

An acute shortage of sand in the city has slowed down the pace of construction.

“All projects have been delayed by four months,” said Pravin Doshi, president, Maharashtra Chambers of Housing Industry and chairman, Acme Group.

He warned that work will come to a halt gradually if no solution is found soon.

Sukhraj Nahar, director, Nahar Group described the situation as ‘alarming’.

The condition can be gauged from the fact that the number of trucks carrying sand daily has dropped to 666 from 1,666 in the last six months.

The city needs 10,000 cubic metres of sand daily, for construction and infrastructure activity, but gets only 4,000.

The Builders’ Association of India (BAI) has blamed environmentalists for the situation.

“They have forced the state to stop mechanical dredging in the name of environmental degradation and played havoc with the construction industry,” said Anand Gupta, secretary, BAI.

“It will impact the labour class associated with this industry,” Gupta added.

Environmentalists refuse to sympathise with developers.

“Dredging activity affected marine life and the ground water table has been disturbed,” said Debi Goenka, environmentalist. “Developers are only interested in making money and hence all this noise.”

Sand, a prime raw material for construction, was sourced from places on the outskirts of the city like Mahad, Ghodbunder, Mumbra, Kalyan and Vaitarna.

Since the state government disallowed mechanical dredging, sand is obtained only by manual dredging which has led to a drop in the yield.