Telangana: Coronavirus second wave hits construction field

For representational purpose
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For representational purpose

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The deadly novel virus Covid-19 is showing its effect on the field of construction. On one side, it is all because of lockdown and on the other hand, newly hiked prices are making the construction sector lose its charm.

The deadly novel virus Covid-19 is showing its effect on the field of construction. On one side, it is all because of lockdown and on the other hand, newly hiked prices are making the construction sector lose its charm. In addition, there is a shortage of workers. With this many constructions are stopped. Even the non-availability of sand and workers is also making the owners go worried.

The construction sector is facing severe fluctuations. With the lockdown, cement and steel production has been declined and thus the prices of the raw materials also increased indiscriminately on the pretext of shortages. Other equipment prices are also increasing and especially cement and steel prices are rising by 60 to 80 per cent a year, which is having a severe impact on this sector. In these conditions, no new constructions are being made as the completion of already started ventures is now more important. Never before there has been such a large increase in prices of raw materials was seen in the last four years.

Private constructions are being made 15 to 25 per cent of the total. Production has been halted for about a month due to a lack of workers, only the maintenance work on the machines is being done with a nominal staff. Even with the shortage of workers and vehicle drivers, it has also become an issue to move stocks from one place to other. Prices of all materials except sand and bricks hiked. Due to the shortage of construction workers, the owners are also paying hefty amounts.

The price of cement bag, a major commodity in the construction sector, has been increased from Rs 420 to Rs 450 only during the lockdown. Steel price crossed Rs 61,000 per tonne. Prices of small nails used in windows, doors and interiors have gone up by more than 75 per cent. The prices of interior wiring went up from Rs 20 to Rs 30 and coming to nails, it rose from Rs 70 to Rs 120. Prices are going up sharply due to the low supply of cement in the market in the name of shortage.

"Prices are going up as the central and state governments have no control over the cement and steel industries," said Ram Reddy, national vice-president, CREDAI. Construction costs, which have risen by up to 30 per cent, are expected to have a significant impact on buyers. On the other hand, there are no sales. In the first phase of the corona, the constructions came to a complete standstill as there was a situation where even the money for the flats sold was not collected. The second phase affected construction even more. Despite the shortage of labour, the cost of construction has reached the sky due to rising in material prices.

Although all sectors are facing severe difficulties with Corona, the government needs to focus on the difficulties in the construction sector as some of the companies that have recovered somewhat in the construction sector are deliberately creating shortages and raising high prices. Central and state governments should take the initiative to control prices.

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