The Supreme Court ban on sand mining is threatening not only to bring the already embattled real estate sector under further financial stress but also delay the deadline of thousands of projects exposing the developers to stringent penalties from RERA.
With no solutions in sight for another four weeks when the court is expected to decide whether to lift the ban or not, the real estate industry in the state met UDH additional chief secretary and the top RERA officials and urged them to consider extending the time for projects lost due to sand unavailability.
“The stalled projects belonging to CREDAI members only are more than 500 where about Rs 2,500 crore investments have already been made. It is not only the additional interest cost we are paying for the delay of the projects, there is now a risk of getting penalties from RERA due to delay in delivery of the projects to the customers. We flagged these concerns and submitted our demands to additional chief secretary of UDH and RERA,” Anurag Sharma, president of CREDAI Rajasthan told reporters here.
The SC banned 82 mining lease holders on November 16, 2017 and there was no relief on Monday as well when the apex court said it will hear the case again in six weeks and take a decision on the replenishment study submitted by the mining lease holders/quarry owners.
“During our meeting with the authorities we have suggested that sand can be extracted from the farm land alongside the river and farmers should be given licenses. These are mostly sand, infertile land and also will also be replenished in the natural process. This will also give an income source to farmers whose yield from such land is miniscule,” said Gopal Gupta, chairman of CREDAI Rajasthan.
Whatever little supply of sand is coming to market is not an option for most of the builders as the prices have increased from around Rs 30 per cubic ft to about Rs 90. “With such a price, no project will be viable. Moreover, the quality is so poor that the builders cannot take a risk for using the sand,” added Sharma.