Andhra Pradesh

Two masons in AP commit suicide, point to `chaos’ in construction sector

The suicide by two construction masons – Naga Brahmaji and Venkat Rao in Guntur district – has focused attention on the woes of the real estate sector in Andhra Pradesh. While construction work in and around Amaravati has ground to a complete halt, robbing lakhs of labour of daily work, sand shortage in Andhra Pradesh has meant work cannot be undertaken in other parts of the state. 

The YSRCP government had accused the previous Chandrababu Naidu regime of encouraging the sand mafia and cancelled the free sand policy. But in the absence of a clear alternative, the procurement of sand has been a major issue, affecting the pace of construction work and deadlines.  

The government is now accused of encouraging the same sand mafia that ruled the roost earlier. Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan taking up the cause of the construction sector says over 30 lakh construction workers are deprived of livelihood directly or indirectly. 

“I appeal to the central government to look into this and come to the rescue of 3 million plus construction workers. The chaotic sand policy of the AP governemnt has put 19.6 lakh workers directly and another one million workers indirectly out of job and put their families in a state of misery,” said Pawan Kalyan. 

The TDP realising the unrest in the industry, has asked workers to agitate instead of committing suicide. It has demanded that each worker be paid a compensation of Rs 10000.  

The YSRCP has attributed the scarcity of sand in the Krishna river basin to the recent floods.

“Once the floods recede, there will be possibility of providing adequate amount of sand to the people,” said YSRCP spokesperson Ambati Rambabu.

With no clarity on whether Jaganmohan Reddy plans to continue with Amaravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh and conflicting statements by his ministers, it is a chaotic and confused state of affairs as far as the construction industry is concerned, at this point in time. At least the two unnecessary deaths should spur the government into acting swiftly and with responsibility, without letting this degenerate into a war of words and everyone looking to derive political mileage from the burning pyres.

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