Edappadi Palaniswami says construction material prices have risen sharply
The former CM said that nowhere in the country had the price of cement gone up to the extent that it has in Tamil Nadu
The prices of construction materials went up sharply after the assumption of office by the DMK regime about six months ago, AIADMK co-coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami said on Saturday.
In a statement, he gave a comparative account of the increase in the prices of materials such as cement, steel, brick, M-sand and paint. In January, the unit cost for building a house was ₹2,200 per sq. ft but this has risen to at least to ₹3,100 per sq,.ft.
Mr Palaniswami contended that nowhere in the country had the price of cement gone up to the extent that it has in Tamil Nadu. The price of a bag of cement was ₹350 in New Delhi, ₹370 in Andhra Pradesh and ₹380 in Karnataka but it was ₹480 in Tamil Nadu. Likewise, the prices of other construction materials were higher by 30% in Tamil Nadu comapred to other States.
Even though the construction activity in the State was more than in New Delhi, AP, Telangana and Karnataka and the production of cement was also higher in the State than in others, cement was costlier here compared to the rest of the country. The hike in the prices of construction materials had robbed livelihood opportunities of thousands of persons, the former Chief Minister argued, adding that the cost of transportation of materials through lorries had also gone up.
The DMK government had not yet fulfilled its electoral promise of reducing the price of diesel by ₹4 per litre. It should immediately bring cement, steel, brick, sand and wood under the ambit of the Essential Commodities Act, he demanded.
‘Run Amma Canteens well’
In a separate statement, the party coordinator, O. Panneerselvam, said it was not acceptable to cite the factor of lack of availability of funds for, what he called, scaling down the operations of Amma Unavagam, low-cost restaurants under the control of urban local bodies.
He referred to reports that the distribution of chappati in Chennai had been stopped on the grounds that due to shortage of funds, wheat was not being supplied to the Unavagams and the Chennai Corporation had been suffering a loss of ₹300 crore for providing food at subsidised rates. “If this is the status in Chennai, the situation will be much worse elsewhere in the State,” Mr Panneerselvam said, calling upon the government to ensure that the Amma canteens were being run properly.