Construction industry will take a hit, homes become costlier

Construction industry will take a hit, homes  become costlier

The city’s interior traffic is heavily influenced by incoming heavy traffic from the peripheries. For too long, it’s been felt that the heavy vehicles cause jams all around the ring road leading to a cascading effect towards the city centre.

One solution proposed is to restrict heavy traffic from exteriors - particularly heavy goods vehicles - between 8 am and 11 am and 4 pm to 8 pm, laid out in the city police’s new guidelines. to help sort out traffic density problems. This solution is seen as affecting the construction sector within the city.

Nagaraja Reddy, builder and president of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers of India (Credai), Karnataka chapter, is emphatic that the new guidelines if persisted with would hit construction activity. Says Reddy: “Construction activity is continuous. It is vital to run the cycles of construction regularly and on time. If construction sites have to set aside three hours in the morning and four hours in the evening, supplies would not come in continuously. Construction is slowed down.

Delay in project delivery is the immediate consequence.” Project sites across the city would have to change their cycles and priorities and work around the deadline issued by the traffic police.

The construction sector is already impacted by a court order that stops construction activity before 8 am and after 6 pm. “So we have both the police and court order to deal with. Court order can perhaps be negotiated as there is a semblance of re-working the framework.

The traffic order will have to be negotiated in a way as to make it compatible with the court order. The issues will have to be ironed out to create a common, agreeable framework,” says builder and Credai secretary Suresh Hari.

The construction sector will have to compromise with work over seven hours - as the early morning and late evening advantage is gone with both court and police orders citing marginally different timings for entry into the city. Waiting labour, machines, equipment, cement, bricks and sand for more to come will be a common feature whereever large scale projects are taken up.

One of the largest projects in the city centre is the residential and multi-commercial one coming up on the old Binnypet land in Rajajinagar. With construction in full swing in the area, seeing lorries carrying sand, cement is a constant feature. Same is the case with the World Trade Centre at Yashwantpur-Rajajinagar intersection.

Such huge property developments for residential, commercial, retail or office spaces can’t be kept waiting for supplies, which would also result in higher running cost. Slowing down construction work will mean higher financial bill which will hit all the relevant stakeholders, particularly the consumers.

A builder who did not want to be named observes: “I have no doubt that the cost would shoot up and builders have to handle the additional rise. Typically they get the consumers to pay for it, who would have started the project with a definite price ratio in mind after factoring in rises. But even if that rise is breached, then there is no alternative but to have consumers pay for the same.” Builders never really absorb higher costs as they always pass it on to consumers. Unless there is a strong consumer movement, the higher prices are here to stay.

These consequences are long term in nature that impact from slowing supplies. The immediate consequences are the sharp rise in prices of projects preceded by rising cost of labour, equipment and materials. And if the number of trucks increase, which happens every year, costing problems would crop-up again.

As the city expands, trunk routing would become an important variable and quicker connections between the major arterial roads that run into the city from Devanahalli road to Kanakapura road and from Hoskote to Kengeri and Peenya and Sarjapur have to be made. Underpasses alone would not help link the major roadways. Something like the peripheral ring road all around the city may ensure that links are connected.

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