English | Dzongkha Monday, November 20, 2017

Truck drivers cash-in on stone chip shortage


Jul 29, 2011

Truck drivers are reportedly taking advantage of the shortage of stone chips, an dispensable construction material, to make a fast buck.

With construction industry booming, the demand for construction materials including stone chips has soared, sending the price shooting through the roof.

The price of stone chips has doubled in just a few months. Earlier, a truckload of stone chips cost Nu.6000. Truck drivers now sell them for as much as Nu. 12000.

The construction owners have no choice but pay.

Namgay, a construction owner, said “we have no choice because without the material your work will get struck ad you lose money anyway.”

According to Tshering Lhamo, another construction owner, they are also forced to buy a truckload of sand with every truckload of sand.

“If we refuse to buy the sand, the truck drivers refuse to sell us the stone chips.”

BBS tried to interview some of the truck drivers. Many refused to talk to us. A few however admitted charging exorbitant price for stone chips saying they have to make up for the many days they can’t get work.

The construction owners do not have to pay the exorbitant rates but for that they have to get a token from the stone quarry office.

G.B Subbha, a manager with a stone quarry, said “construction owners will have to book stone chips in advance. We will try to supply the materials within the specified date.”

The good news is the problem will be solved once the monsoon season is over. This is because the monsoon has blocked the road to one of the quarry’s sites.

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