Khammam: Construction activity is going on at snail’s pace in the limits of Khammam Municipal Corporation these days.
Two reasons are cited for this by persons who have commenced construction and are now reeling under escalation of costs.
Firstly, the increasing prices of sand have become a burden to the builders and individuals constructing their apartments and houses. Sand, which was available at Rs 1,000 per tonne in January, 2017, has now doubled to Rs 2000 per tonne.
Though there are various rivulets and rivers in the two districts such as Munner, Kinnerasani, Palair and Godavari, sand is a precious material now.
Contractors, who took on projects like the 2BHK housing, Bhakta Ramadas, Sitarama and other medium irrigation projects are getting sand for free, but are selling the sand at high prices to the private individuals.
Private builders have no other option since sand is not available on order and they cannot afford to wait and face even more losses.
Secondly, GST regime has directly contributed to escalation of cost of the houses and apartments and the burden is more than 25 percent.
Traders are selling the electricity material, sanitary goods, cement and steel after charging 28 per cent GST. No trader is willing to give bill, but is collecting GST on every construction material.
Traders who had been holding pre-GST stock are selling it by adding GST and earning crores.
Gentala Anand, who commenced construction of a house, said, “I paid Rs 1.5 lakh additional on construction material after GST rollout. With this, my budget shot up to `8 lakh from `6.5 lakh.”
Many builders have stopped construction activity, hoping that there will be some reduction, or at least some control on the spiralling costs of construction material.
“Prices of electricity cables, switches, light fixtures and fans have increased by 30 per cent,” said K. Naresh, a builder.
“We are confused with the sudden spiralling of building material prices and think it’s better to take a break from construction activity. We will resume after taking stock of the situation,” he said.