The Builders' Association of India (Southern Centre) has appealed to the State government to intervene and tackle the “artificial scarcity” and the increase in the prices of cement as a result of the “cartelisation in the cement industry”.

Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, its chairman Mu. Moahan said that in the last 10 days, the price of cement has gone up from Rs.145 per bag to Rs.265.

While Tamil Nadu consumes about three lakh tonnes of cement a month, the production capacity of the units in the State was six lakh tonnes.

Despite this, the industry has formed a cartel to limit production in order to hike up prices, Mr. Moahan alleged.

According to him, this would affect not only the livelihood of thousands of workers in the construction sector, but will also increase the construction cost by Rs.180 to Rs.200 per sq.m.

“The price increase will also hit contractors undertaking vital stormwater drain and flood canal work ahead of the monsoon,” he added.

The association plans to organise a protest rally next week.

Mr. Moahan said that it would also be submitting a memorandum to the Union government for a regulatory commission to fix the price of steel and cement.

Repeated fluctuation in the cost of the inputs is one of the primary reasons for the inordinate delays in completion of public work projects such as the flyovers in Chromepet and Vandalur, he said.

Keywords: cement industry

More In: Chennai