KOLLAM: Government contractors in Kollam are relieved with the new district collector Dr S. Karthikeyan setting a ceiling for prices on construction materials such as granite and sand. The price including compound tax has been fixed on the recommendations of the committee convened by the land revenue deputy collector. The new price for granite is Rs 15 per cubic feet metal chips at `30, MSand Rs 50, rock dust Rs 35, GSB Rs 20, and Psand Rs 60, as directed by the district administration. The contractors anticipate price reduction on quarry products with his intervention after the formation of a committee to assess their prices on the All Kerala Government Contractors Association’s petition against the alleged extortion by quarry owners.
Various departments, including PWD and geology, crusher and quarry unions and the contractors association were part of the committee that reached consensus on the new tariff. “The administration has addressed our long-pending demand for a pricing structure fixed to beat uncontrollable price hike. The committee had recommended it after discussions with the quarry owners. The move is expected to boost the construction sector in the district,” its district secretary P. Pradeep said.
The district administration has also agreed to complete works under MP and MLA funds time-bound. Special committees will be formed to monitor the progress of these works. Meanwhile, the district still faces acute shortage of construction materials owing to ban on quarries that failed to secure environmental clearance. Only three quarries are operational while nearly 300 of them remain temporarily shut. The district administration has also given assurance to revive the ban by constituting a committee to study the environmental impact of the closed quarries.