Cement shortage brings construction to halt

Cement shortage brings construction to halt
Published: 30 January 2006

Chandigarh India: The city has been facing acute shortage of cement for the last couple of weeks following the ban on overloading of trucks carrying cement on the direction of the Supreme Court. In fact, this has created a sharp gap between supply and demand and has affected construction work of engineering wings of both Administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh (MCC).

The Apex Court had earlier taken serious view of overloading of trucks carrying cement bags, following which trucks are not permitted to load more than 500 bags of cement, while trucks earlier carried up to 1000 bags. Sources said the price of cement has also gone up from Rs 150 to Rs 180 per bag, owing to the shortage.

MC officials concerned with construction activities said the MC has only 1200 bags of cement and construction work has come to a halt. They further said if supply of cement was not brought to the earlier level, development work would be paralysed completely.

Municipal Commissioner PS Aujla also maintained that there was acute shortage of cement and the MC was in constant touch with local agencies of cement manufacturing companies for maintaining supply.

Regional Manager of Ambuja Cement, VM Rao, said there was no increase in the demand for cement, but there certainly was a shortage of supply. Regional Manager of JK Cement, Pankaj Gupta, also confirmed shortage in cement, which he said, had affected its price by around Rs 25 to Rs 30 per bag.

UT officials have sought effective steps for the maintenance of supply of cement. February and March are crucial months for the purpose of construction for achieving targets in the current financial year. In case of delay in work, the fund earmarked for the current financial year will be exhausted, said a senior UT official.