Sand lorry strike hits construction work

Sand lorry strike hits construction work

A truckload of sand now costs Rs 25,000

The Karnataka Construction Workers’ Association (KCWA), that has roughly 20 lakh labourers in its fold, is now spending its money to feed the labourers, lest they leave the association.

The Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners’ Association (FKSLOA) is demanding a legal permit to transport sand.

However, the State government is not likely to implement the new sand policy anytime before the end of the year.

According to G Shekaran, General Secretary of KCLA, the indifferent attitude of the government has worsened the situation.

Increased woes

“Each day wasted by the government in solving the problem adds to the sufferings of our labourers. Since Sunday, many workers have gone back to their homes,” said Shekaran.

Labourers, who used to get Rs 200 a day, have gone without work for 10 days. With no income, the cost of two meals per day of the workers is being temporarily borne by KCLA.

“A loss of Rs 2,000 is a huge amount to these people. The government was busy with Advani’s rallies, but not bothering to discuss the issue of the poor people,” added Shekaran.

The strike has also adversely affected the construction work in the City.

Work slackens

According to Dayananda Reddy, President of Karnataka Land Developers’ Association, construction works from private villas and apartments to public sector works like that of BMRCL, have been badly affected. The work in this sector has slowed down by 90 per cent, Reddy said.

With the demand for sand at an abnormal high, the price of a truckload of sand has shot up from Rs 12,000 to Rs 25,000.

“The inflated sand pricing is due to sand trucks coming from Tamil Nadu and a few other states. We cannot sustain ourselves in such a situation”, Reddy said.

The construction of a star hotel in the City has come to a halt. Chief Architect K Abbas says: “Once every three months some strike or the other happens. We end up using filtered sand which is cheaper compared to river sand.”

According to an official from BBMP, many road and flyover works are in progress across the City. The government must soon find a solution to the problem, so as to help completion of these projects on time.

G Shanmugappa, president of FKSLOA, leading the protest said Shankarlinge Gowda, principal secretary, Transport Department of Karnataka had promised to resolve the matter.

Equipment owners to join stir

South India Concrete Equipment Owners’ Association has extended its support to sand transporters, who are on strike for the last one week.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, K Ilango, Secretary of the Association, said if the government fails to resolve the issue before Monday, more than 1,000 concrete- transporting trucks shall also go on strike.

“For the past 10 days, we too are facing a lot of problems. Sand is the main raw material in concrete mixing. If we do not get sand, how will we prepare concrete,” asked Ilango.