The severe shortage of sand across the length and breadth of the state of AP during the past five months has turned into a major crisis with lakhs of construction and related workers losing their livelihood. Unable to find work, two workers from Guntur district have committed suicide on Friday. Shortage is so severe that the ongoing price of a truckload of sand in the state touched Rs 1 lakh.
While the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government banned mining of sand immediately after coming to power in June, has failed to replace the free sand policy of the Telugu Desam Government creating a wide gap between demand and supply. By the time the government has come up with policy and introduced online booking of the sand from government and private sand Reaches, floods in Krishna and Godavari rivers have inundated the sources, making it impossible for the government to pump up the meagre supplies.
With no work from past five months particularly in the Guntur district after the government has stopped construction of Amaravati and all the real estate ventures coming to a grinding halt due to lack of sand, construction workers bore the brunt. Naga Brahmaji of Munipalle village of Ponnuru block hung himself as he is ashamed that his wife Lakshmi Tirupatamma has to work to feed the family. In the same district, Padatapu Venkatrao, a construction worker of Kodandarama Nagar of Guntur town also committed suicide on Friday.
HC stops AP govt from taking L&T sand
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday issued four weeks stay barring the state government from shifting huge stocks of sand from Larsen and Toubro (L&T) stock points. The government has been lifting sand for the firm’s stock points to meet the demand of the real estate sector. However, the company challenged the government’s initiative in the court.
The construction major stocked close to 82,000 metric tons of sand at its construction site of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) complex at Mangalagiri and for various ongoing projects in the capital region awarded to it during the Naidu’s government. But the government initiated seizing the sand stocked by different companies, to face severe shortage in the open market. But, the L&T contended that the government had no right over the sand, once bought by the consumer.