Construction activities in Punjab has been badly affected due to high cost of building materials. It may be recalled here that the state government had imposed ban on the mining and quarrying in rivers, streams and specified zones following the directions of the high court and NGT. As a result, availability of building materials has been affected in the state and also prices of essential building materials have gone through the roof. Ban has resulted in the closure of 60 per cent stone crushers which has multiplied the problem.
Though the ban has not stopped the illegal mining in the state, price of the materials have gone up considerably affecting the construction of residential buildings in the state. For example, the price of 300 cubic feet of sand which was earlier available for Rs 5,500, is now available at Rs 14,000. A 300 cubic feet grit is being sold at Rs 16,000 as against Rs 8,000 earlier. The cost of one tractor trailer of boulders has also gone up to Rs 2,000. Earlier the same was available at Rs 600.
While extraction of limestone for cement plants is allowed in the state even though they too cause environmental damage, hundreds of small stone crushers have been shut under the pretext of violation of environment norms.