NELLORE: With construction activity coming to a grinding halt due to the ban on sand quarrying, thousands of workers in Nellore district are left in the lurch after losing their sole source of livelihood.
Workers from other parts of the State also migrated to Nellore, where development picked up pace after it was declared a tier-II city and received funds under the Centre’s Amrut (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Mission) scheme. Its nearby areas such as Kavali, Gudur, Sullurpeta and Atmakur also witnessed rapid development.
“We have stopped construction of two apartments on the city outskirts due to non-availability of sand. We are unable to provide work to labourers. As of now, we are only able to engage 60-70 of them for works at these sites,” said R Srinivasulu, a real estate developer.
Explaining that the situation has worsened over the past month, Srinivasulu added works at around 75 per cent of the ventures have been stopped.
The realty industry provides employment to nearly three lakh workers, 30 per cent of whom are women, in Nellore, said Sk Chand Basha, district secretary of Bhavana Nirmana Karmika Sangham.
Meanwhile, areas such as Tadikala Bazar Centre, VR Circle, RTC circle, Kondayapalem Gate and Podalakur Road that used to remain abuzz in the morning hours with workers waiting to find work, wear a deserted look now.
“Earlier, I was able to find 20 days of work in a month. But for the past month, I had to borrow money to feed my family,” said K Rosaiah, a daily-wage worker. “The government should find an alternative to river sand and supply it as soon as possible. Lives of around three lakh workers in Nellore district are at stake,’’ said Chand Basha.
Industries, thermal power plants and economic zones are coming up in Nellore after it was declared a tier-II city
Albeit temporarily, sand mining has been stopped after the YSRC government scrapped the old sand mining policy