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Sand shortage pushes up cost of building highways

Infra News - Published on Mon, 18 Jun 2018

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Times of India reported that 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 has pushed up the cost of highway construction. Road transport minister Mr Nitin Gadkari said that in some cases the “cost of cement is almost on a par with sand” and is leading to delays in construction.

Mr Gadkari said while sharing the details of his two-day review of all highway projects costing more than INR 100 crore “We have decided to allow bituminous road rather than building cement concrete ones where the cost is 30% less than that of cement stretches.”

In fact, 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.

Some of the highway builders TOI talked to said if earlier they used to get a bag of sand at Rs 50 in Rajasthan, it’s about Rs 100 and in MP it has gone up from nearly Rs 60 to more than Rs 100. In UP, this has increased from Rs 40 a bag to now about Rs 80.

Meanwhile, to beat the 2019 poll schedule, the highways ministry has squeezed the deadline of nearly three dozen projects by 2-3 months. Mr Gadkari “We want to complete at least 300 projects by March, before the poll code of conduct kicks in.”

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Mon, 18 Jun 2018
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