Amritsar, July 31
Though a little decrease in the sand prices in the district has been witnessed in the past few days, the prices are still too high for the common man, planning construction or renovation of his home.
The sand is priced at Rs 2,300-2,800 per 100 cubic feet in the city. In rural areas, construction-material sellers have still not reduced the price of sand. However, the non-fine quality (moti ret) used in the construction of walls and roofs is priced at Rs 2,850 per 1,000 cubic feet. This price is for a requirement of at least 10,000 cubic feet. For lower quantities, the price is still above Rs 3,000 per 100 cubic feet.
The difference in the prices of fine sand and the non-fine sand is baffling as till now, the fine sand had been priced higher than non-fine qualities, as it is used in wall plaster. People engaged in the business stated that as the fine-quality sand from queries near Ajnala had started arriving, it was priced low, as compared to the non-fine sand which was transported from Pathankot.
A month ago, the sand was priced at Rs 3,200-4,000 per 100 cubic feet, as most of the queries had not started production yet. The city residents feel that high-sand prices were a big issue before the elections, but the government has not done much to reduce the prices.
“The government can fix the prices of sand to ensure that contractors do not exploit consumers,” suggested a resident, Kirpal Singh. The high price of sand in the district has affected the construction business, as is evident from the decrease in the cost of bricks. Due to high sand prices, the cost of per thousand bricks has slipped to Rs 4,100. However, these priced at around Rs 4800-5200 at the peak season last year.
While a little construction activity can be spotted in city areas, it is negligible in rural areas. “For the past three months, the people are waiting for the prices to drop, as the government had promised it. Presently, people come up with queries but they are still hoping for the price to go down further,” said Jagvel Singh, a construction-material dealer in the Chehharta area.