Increase in water levels of various rivers passing through the state temporarily halted sand mining activities, resulting in shortage of sand for construction industry in many parts of the state. (PTI file photo)
VISAKHAPATNAM: Increase in water levels of various rivers passing through the state temporarily halted sand mining activities, resulting in shortage of sand for construction industry in many parts of the state. This has been attributed to continuation of floods and increasing water levels in the water bodies like Vamsadhara, Nagavali, Godavari, Penna and Krishna.
According to sources, nearly 10,000 tons of sand are daily required for construction activities in the state. But now, only 50 to 60 percent of sand is available. "Yes, we have temporarily halted sand mining at Nagavali and Vamsadhara in Srikakulam district for the past three to four days due to increasing water levels in rivers. We will resume once the situation is under control," said a mines department official.
A maximum outflow of 2.93 lakh cusecs water was registered on Monday morning in the river Godavari and 2.52 lakh in the evening at Dowleswaram barrage in East Godavari district.
"It is recommended to take up sand mining when the water level is below one lakh cusecs in the Godavari. Since it is the flooding season from July to October, sand mining is generally halted," said an irrigation official at Dowleswaram.
The Godavari’s highest outflow was recorded 10, 19,452 cusecs on September 10 and almost similar on July 25.
The reasons for increasing water levels were attributed to active monsoon and heavy rainfall. The state has registered above normal rainfall since the beginning of the southwest monsoon in June. The state recorded 113.1mm of rainfall against 93.7mm in June, 196.1mm of rainfall against 151.3mm in July and 100.7mm against 94.3mm in August. In September, 224.8mm of seasonal rainfall was recorded against 152.7mm normal.
The Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) Visakhapatnam unit chairman B. Srinivasa Rao said they were using manufacturing sand for rough works like slabs, pillars, and walls. They would take up ornamental and smooth works once the river sand is available in plenty.
"Nearly 25 to 30 percent of construction works were halted due to non-availability of river sand," Srinivasa Rao said while adding that cities like Vizag, needed at least 150 tons of sand daily for active construction works.
"The river sand value as of date is Rs 1,600 per ton while the manufacturing sand’s value is around Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,100 per ton. The river sand weighs less than the manufacturing sand," Srinivasa Rao told this newspaper.