Nepal: inferior-quality cement

Nepal: inferior-quality cement
Published: 23 August 2010

The government has rightly banned six cement brands for producing and selling products that have been found to be below the minimum standards, says Nepal Republic Media. The government banned the products of Nepal Ambuja Cement Factory, Reliance Cement Pvt Ltd, Agni Cement Pvt Ltd, Narayani Cement Factory, Jagadamba Cement Factory and Butwal Cement Pvt Ltd after sample tests revealed that the products did not contain the necessary ingredients.

Until now, some of the companies have been denying any wrongdoing but if the Department of Commerce can categorically prove that the companies were indeed involved in irregularities, it must not shy away from punishing them without any delay, says
Nepal Republic Media.

The scientific tests conducted by the Department of Standards and Metrology (DoSM) brought to light that the six brands in question were not adhering to Nepal Quality Standards Number 49 (quality of add mixture) and Number 385 (load-bearing capacity). This is no petty crime, says
Nepal Republic Media, considering that cement is used in the construction of private and public buildings and vital infrastructures meaning that at stake here are the lives and properties of hundreds and thousands of people.

The revelation that even leading brands such as Jagadamba, Nirman, Reliance and Trishakti, which have received standard certification from DoSM, ISO certification and whose products are used widely across the country, are involved in this malpractice is both surprising and worrying and calls for a thorough investigation, says Nepal Republic Media.

One sure way of keeping such unscrupulous practices at bay is to conduct regular rather than once-in-a-blue moon quality checks. The other is to mete out the strictest punishment, which means a fine up to INR50,000 or two-year imprisonment, to the wrongdoers so that it discourages others from indulging in such practices.