Sand shortage pushes up costs
The increasing price of sand and acute shortage of the key construction material in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala have pushed up the cost of highway construction. Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari said on Thursday that in some cases the “cost of cement is almost at par with sand” and is leading to delays in construction.
Private players in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have been importing sand from Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia to meet their requirement.
Sources said the proportionate cost of cement and the sand used for construction of concrete roads has become the same in the past couple of years due to stay on mining by courts in their bid to check rampant illegal activities. Industry sources said the cost of sand has increased by 100-150% in the past two years depending on the source of the availability and transport cost.