VISAKHAPATNAM: Sand scarcity is likely to hit hard the preparations for the coveted International Fleet Review 2016, scheduled to be held in Visakhapatnam in February next year. The contractors who have taken up works such as laying of roads and footpaths apart from other construction works, fear that the works are unlikely to be completed before the end of December as proposed by the State Government.
The GVMC, along with VUDA have been entrusted with the task of civil works including construction and beautification for the prestigious IFR 2016. The State Government has sanctioned Rs 73.99 crore towards the works including Rs 55.67 crore for GVMC alone, and has set December-end as the deadline. The works including beach clean up, repair of arterial roads, diversion of sewage water, landscaping along the Beach road and other major roads besides restoration of parks, street lights, water supply and sanitation, are part of the preparations. Majority of these works require sand which has become scarcer in the last three months.
The officials have been claiming that the works have already been commenced and would be completed as per the deadline. But the GVMC Contractors Association has expressed its inability to complete the works citing sand scarcity, in a representation submitted to GVMC commissioner Pravin Kumar Wednesday. As against the city’s requirement of about 1,000 truck loads of sand per day, there has been a shortage of about 70 per cent, due to lack of adequate sand ramps. Sand shortage is affecting all types of construction works including building construction, road laying, civic works, sewage pipes and even BRTS road works.
“Each contractor requires at least four-five truck loads of sand to carry out the civic work for a day. But due to severe scarcity of sand and delay in supply, a work of two days is taking 10-15 days. Similarly, road-laying works worth Rs 10 lakh are taking a month for completion due to the shortage of sand,” alleged G Chandra Mouli, general secretary of GVMC Contractors Association. Worst of all, the contractors are claiming that the sand supplied from the Kasipatnam ramp is sub-standard.
It is learnt that some contractors are taking up the works by purchasing quality sand in black market at about Rs 30,000-50,000 per truck load. “We have no option but to complete the works and hence, we are trying to work it out on the no profit-no loss basis. This would ensure a cordial relation with the municipal authorities who understand our difficulties and are likely to help us get better works next time,” said a contractor on condition of anonymity. Nearly 159 civic works have been taken up by different contractors as part of the IFR 2016.
GVMC Contractors Association expressed plans to stop works unless the government allocates a dedicated ramp to the contractors executing the GVMC works. Just a day ago, the Visakhapatnam unit of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India (CREDAI) threatened to stop all the ongoing construction activity from September 21, unless the government solves the sand scarcity problem. The municipal commissioner is likely to convene a meeting with the contractors on September 21, to resolve the issue.