With the construction activities coming to a halt in Rajasthan following a ban on sand mining imposed by the Supreme Court, the Congress has accused the BJP government of being negligent and serving the interests of sand mafia. An apex court Bench extended the ban by six weeks, while pulling up the State government, on Tuesday.The ‘bajri’ (riverbed sand), which is mixed with cement for construction, has not been available in the State since November 2017 when the ban was first imposed. It has made an adverse impact on the construction of houses under Chief Minister’s Jan Awas Yojana, residential housing projects of builders, Jaipur Metro works and all other big and small projects.UnemploymentThe halt to construction activities has also rendered lakhs of workers and labourers unemployed. However, the Supreme Court has come down heavily on the State government for giving licences for sand mining without environmental clearance, while staying as many as 82 such licences.The Opposition Congress said the ruling BJP was “hand in glove with the sand mafia”, which was even taken note of by the Supreme Court. During Tuesday’s hearing, the apex court Bench observed that the State government was creating a mining mafia and they were killing people. It also asked the government to explain how sand was necessary for construction work.Senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said here on Thursday that the State government’s negligence had resulted in unemployment of 25 lakh people, including construction labourers, ‘bajri’ truck drivers, truck owners, contractors and skilled workers trained in the construction sector. “All projects have stopped and there is displeasure among the people,” he said.Mr. Gehlot, the former Rajasthan Chief Minister, said the small quantity of ‘bajri’ supplied from Nagaur and Bikaner districts, where mining was continuing, was being sold for exorbitant prices and a loss of revenue worth ₹1.25 crore was being caused to the State exchequer every day.“The entire official machinery is engaged in the preparations for the Prime Minister’s visit to Barmer for relaying of foundation stone for oil refinery,” said Mr. Gehlot, adding that it would be too late by the time the State government wakes up and takes action for environmental studies and clearance for sand mining.