Vadodara: The difficult race on several roads in the city may continue for citizens even in the coming days if the blacktrap quarry strike continues. The reason for the situation this time around is not the inefficiency of the municipal authorities, but the state quarry strike which has started to impact development works and construction activities.
The quarries have been on strike since May 1 to enforce their long-standing demands. Apart from extracting and processing new materials, the quarries have also stopped transporting their existing materials. Vadodara Municipality (VMC) was forced to rationalize the use of gravel following the shortage caused by the strike. It now donates materials from its HMA plant only for pothole repair work and also if roads are dug for underground service line work.
VMC’s Executive Roads Engineer, Rajesh Chauhan said VMC’s hot mix asphalt plants as well as contractors currently have a limited supply of gravel. “The work done by the VMC as well as the contractors suffered,” Chauhan said. The VMC hot mix asphalt plant is currently only supplying material for unavoidable work.
An official said the civic body typically keeps stock that lasts about a month. However, that has run out now and if the problem is not fixed quickly, there could be a crisis.
Chairman of the Vadodara branch of the Confederation of Real Estate Developers Associations of India (CREDAI), Mayank Patel, said construction activity was suffering due to the strike. “Builders mainly need a concrete mix for slabs, columns, beams and foundations. Work other than those elements is ongoing at the moment to make sure things don’t come to a complete halt,” Patel added.
Secretary of Gujarat Blackstone Quarry Industries Association (GBQIA), Amit Suthar, said transporting quarry stone and gravel was an expensive affair. “Contractors and builders rely on the nearest careers. Since no quarry in the state is working, it becomes expensive to bring in material from other states and therefore affects work,” he said. Suthar said the state unit of CREDAI and the contractor associations understood their demands and approached the state government.