Construction industry in doldrums in Goa


Stating that the construction industry has been in the doldrums in the state, stakeholders in the industry have sought some corrective measures to bring about turnaround.
Prices of construction raw materials like cement, laterite stones, sand and others have been rising steadily. Besides, wages for labourers have also increased, rued Mr Gaurish Pereira of Sharayu Life Spaces, a construction firm.
There is a ban on extraction of sand and laterite stones, which has pushed up the prices of these most important raw materials for the construction industry. During the last two years there has been 30-40 per cent rise in construction cost. This paucity of raw materials is severely affecting housing projects.
Mr Pereira opined that if the situation continued for two more years then the industry would be in a real tight spot.
Seasons coming before and after the monsoon are very important for the industry but inadequate raw materials and higher wages for labourers are bringing down construction activities. A wage for mason has gone up from ` 350 to ` 500. A labourer demands ` 300 to ` 400, which directly affects small builders and ultimately the common man.
Nevertheless big construction firms reap the benefits, Mr Pereira alleged.
He charged that the indecisiveness and delay vis-à-vis the Regional Plan 2021 were also posing threat to the construction industry in Goa.
Corroborating Mr Pereira’s observations, the owner of Models Constructions, Mr Peter Vaz said most projects would get delayed due to short supply of raw materials, adding that some measures should be adopted to turn around the situation. Mr Vaz said as of now we were facing shortage of land and raw materials. Workforce also demands higher wages and salaries.
This will escalate the prices of flats further, he said.
Mr K K Shekhar of Milrock Development Company observed that sand, laterite stones and cement are the lifeblood of the construction industry but now-a-days getting these materials was a big challenge.
"I do not know how the government would handle this crisis." he said.
"We have approached the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India — CREDAI — and put forth our demands asking them to intervene and resolve it (the situation)," Mr Shekhar said.
He opined that without allowing legal ore mining to resume this problem won’t be solved as many projects are facing hurdles for completion on time," he added.
Another builder, who requested anonymity, stated that there has been 20-25 per cent rise in the cost of man, machine and materials as compared to last year. Construction activities have gone down by around 25 per cent, which would further hit the industry hard.
Opining that if things did not change in the coming months the construction industry would come to a grinding halt, he said the authorities should take some initiatives to keep the industry wheels moving. [NT]