Protesting against the unprecedented 100% hike in the price of cement in the last one month, builders across the state have decided to stage a one-day strike on Thursday and take out a rally from the Rajarathinam Stadium in Egmore to the state secretariat.
At a joint press meet on Wednesday, Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Association of India (CREDAI) Tamil Nadu chapter president T Chitty Babu and Builders’ Association of India (BAI) past president Radhakrishnan said that though the builders would shut down operations on the day the workers would be paid salary. The hike in the prices of cement and other raw material had already hit the construction sector badly.
"The cost of construction has gone up by about 40% in less than two months and almost 40% of works across the state have come to a halt," said Chitty Babu.
Meanwhile, builders from Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka have come together to import cement from Pakistan, Iran and Ukraine. A group of builders from Kerala has already brought 20 containers of cement from Pakistan, each weighing 20 tonnes, to Cochin port. While domestic brands cost Rs 290 to Rs 300 per 50 kg bag, Pakistan cement’s landing cost at Cochin port was only Rs 190 a bag, said CREDAI national vice-president Prakash Challa.