Raipur: In Chhattisgarh, transporters associated with cement transportation business are on strike for the last 15 days. More than 5000 trucks owned by local transporters were off the roads. It has created artificial shortage in the market and provided opportunity to the black marketers to extort money from the needy, in other words the shortage fuelled unofficial overpricing and black marketing in Chhattisgarh.
The absence of proper monitoring from Chhattisgarh government grim the situation.
The branded cements like Ultratech, Nuvoco which were available in the retail market at the cost of Rs 260 per packet 20 days ago, are presently being sold in the black market at the cost of Rs 330 to 380 per packet.
In short, cement prices escalated up to Rs 120 per packet.
Transporters threatened that they would keep their vehicles out of roads till the Cement manufacturing companies did not agree to their demands.
Sukhdev Singh Sidhu, president of Bastar Koraput Transport Association said, six months back we called strike and some cement manufacturing companies agreed to hike the transportation cost by 16 percent but it was fairly not implemented.
He complained that shooting up in diesel prices from Rs 85 to Rs 100 worsened their condition so we are left with only two options: keep bearing the loss or extend the strike up to sine die.
Some traders of Raipur complained they imported cement from other states but their trucks were forcefully stopped by the local transporters.
We have had no business for the last 15 days, there is no one to resolve this crisis, a cement trader said.
One retailer said he is left with only 20 sacks of cement and there is a huge shortage of cement in the market. Thus, finally I have decided who will pay the most and will get the product. Afterall, we are businessmen.
However, locals who are moving pillar to post to get the cement, complained, it is the duty of the government to dissolve the standoff and give respite to the public.
Meanwhile, one senior official of a manufacturing plant said on the verge of anonymity said, if the situation persists then we have to reduce the rate of our production. It will definitely impact revenue collection and business.