Guntur: The rise in price of bricks is burdening people building houses and commercial structures. Earlier, a lorryload of 5,000 bricks used to cost Rs 22,000 which has now increased to Rs 30,000.
This comes on top of the rise in prices of other construction material, burdening the people. Taken together, the price rise is also affecting those houses being built under various housing schemes of the government.
A construction engineer, Mr B. Suresh, said that for constructing a normal house under the housing scheme of the government, nearly 15,000 bricks were needed. He said that use of fly ash bricks would reduce the expenditure but that a majority of the people prefer conventional bricks, trusting it for its strength.
Besides, construction workers also prefer the conventional bricks as they are easy to cut and use as per their need during construction.
The Kollur bricks of Guntur district are famous for their strength as the soil on the banks of river Krishna is used in their manufacture. In Kollur, a majority of the villagers depend on brick kilns for their livelihood after agriculture.
A kiln owner, Mr K. Venkateswarlu, said digging the soil, transportation and wages for workers involved spending a lot of money and this had hed to a rise in the price of bricks. Further, the price has increased of late due to the incessant rains.
Soil that is suitable to make the bricks is unavailable and this has led to a shortage of bricks in the kilns which led to the increase in prices, he added.
A retired employee, Mr Porumalla Ramaiah, who started constructing his house with his retirement benefits, said that the rise in the price of bricks had put an extra burden of Rs 25,000 on him.
“Though sand is available free, its transportation is costing us a lot and it might push me into debts," he said. He sought the government's intervention in checking the price of bricks.
According to reports, nearly 73,000 houses are under construction in Guntur district under various housing schemes and the increasd cost of bricks is burdening the beneficiaries.
A few beneficiaries of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) said they were already reeling under financial trouble and asked the government to supply bricks to them at subsidised price.