TIRUPATI: Jyotheeswar Reddy, a resident of Kothapalli area here, has been putting in a lot of effort and money from his life’s savings into the house he was building for the past year and a half. The Covid-induced economic uncertainty, the subsequent lockdowns and the skyrocketing prices of construction materials have come in the way of completion of his dwelling unit.
Jyotheeswar halted the construction work last week as he is left with very little resources. He is among the many who are facing such a situation.
Many builders and homeowners are feeling the heat as the manufacturers of steel, cement and other construction materials have sharply increased the prices during the past fortnight.
While dealers cite the increase in coal prices to justify the price spiral, homeowners and builders are not convinced. They say the dealers are cashing in on the present uncertainties in the national economy.
According to dealers, the price of a 50kg cement bag has risen to Rs 470-490 two weeks ago. The price of steel has gone up to Rs 60,000-65,000 per tonne by the first week of October from Rs 55,000 by September end.
“Until the first week of this month, the price of a 50-kg cement bag (A-grade) was Rs 400-420. After the dispatch holidays (Oct. 4-6), the cement syndicate has increased the price of a bag by Rs 60-70. Now, we are paying Rs 460-490 for a bag. We are trying to recover from the Covid impact that had hurt our construction business. It is hard for us to survive,” said Chowdary, a small-scale builder from Mangalam area in Tirupati.
There has also been a hike in the prices of sand, plywood, glass, PoP and other construction materials. With all these, it is estimated that the cost of a 600-750 sq-ft single bedroom and a 900-1,100 sq-ft double bedroom house may go up by 30-40 per cent and 35-45 per cent, respectively.
In Chittoor district alone, around 10-15 tonnes of steel and 60-70 tonnes of cement were sold every month. The sales came down by 10-15 per cent due to the Covid crisis. Though there was a drop in demand for the past two years, manufacturers of construction materials were constantly hiking the prices....