Sand scarcity claims one more life in AP

Representative image

Scarcity of sand and its adverse impact on the construction industry in Andhra Pradesh, scarcity, has claimed one more life taking the total count to three on Monday. Allegedly due to depression over being unemployed for more than four months Polepalli Venkatesh a plumber from Guntur district committed suicide.  A selfie video of Venkatesh came out after his death.

“I am unemployed from the past four months and everyone says there is no work for me. I am unable to run my family. But wherever I am I am going to watch my family,” Venkatesh said in his selfie. His wife Rashmi said they lived a happy life when her husband was busy. Now after the sand scarcity, he has no work. On the top of it our one-year-old son fell sick, we were unable to pay for his treatment,” she said.

Two more construction workers, Naga Brahmaji of Tenali and Venkata Rao of Mangalagiri ended their lives in the last one week. State finance minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy, however, attributed the scarcity of sand to floods. “We are unable to mine the sand because of floods. We are exploring alternative ways. We will set right the things in 15 days”, he said.

All the opposition parties including the Telugu Desam, BJP, Jana Sena and the Left have accused the YS Jaganmohan Reddy government pushing lakhs of construction workers into depression.

Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu while posting the video of Venkatesh commented: "Mind-boggling to see workers committing suicide". Naidu demanded compensation to the kin of the workers that committed suicide and pay for all the constructions that have lost livelihood during the past four months.

Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan also expressed shock over the tragic end of three labourers. He called for a massive rally in support of construction labour in Visakhapatnam on 3 November. 

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