Srinagar: An unprecedented hike in construction costs in the last three years due to skyrocketing prices of raw materials has hurt the construction and developmental sectors badly.
The rising raw material prices have forced many people to abandon their plans of undertaking construction activities, be it construction of houses or repair works.
As per the contractors, the situation is such that the construction industry which was booming a few years back has been hit badly mainly due to the rising cost of raw materials.
“Our clients are cancelling their plans to construct new houses or carry out any repairs or renovation works after knowing the cost of raw materials and total construction costs. Situation is gloomy for the real estate sector due to this unprecedented hike in material prices,” Ajaz Ahmad, a local contractor.
According to market analysts, the prices of raw materials have almost doubled in three years. Bricks are sold at Rs 32000 per truckload while in 2019 it was priced at Rs 19000. Sand truckload is being sold at Rs 12000 to 14000, few years back it was just Rs 7000.
“Three years back I had received an estimate for construction of my new house from an engineer but due to some reasons I could not start work. Now few days back I approached him again, I was astonished to know that the same construction will now cost me twice the price,” said Abrar Ahmad a Srinagar resident.
Contractors who work on government projects to complain about the rising prices of raw materials.
“As per the government schedule, the rate of construction material is less in comparison to prices it is being sold, when we purchase material from the market; it is twice the scheduled amount. We are facing a lot of problems. Government has failed to regulate prices of construction material which has doubled in the last three years,” said President, Jammu and Kashmir Contractors Coordination Committee, Ghulam Jeelani Purza.
General Secretary, JKCCC – another faction, Farooq Ahmad Dar said the government should act and regulate prices of raw materials.
“Like prices of essential commodities are being monitored, why authorities are not regulating prices of construction materials which affect people in large"
The DC Budgam had last year fixed (vide his office order No. DCB/Brick Kilns/2020/54, dated 21.08.2020) Rs 21000 rate per 3000 bricks including all taxes except transportation.
There are over 300 brick kilns in Kashmir with around 250 in Central Kashmir district of Budgam and according to a conservative estimate; around 30 million bricks are being sold daily these days as it is a peak season.