Tribune News Service

Shimla, December 14

The Adani group has decided to shut down its two cement plants at Barmana and Darlaghat in Himachal Pradesh citing high transportation cost that is making operations unviable.

Even though the management of the plants have cited high transportation cost the reason for closing operations, but it is being felt that the issue could be linked to the Congress regime seeking reduction in the rate of cement bags within the hill state.

High cement rates has been a sore issue with the people of Himachal who rue that despite production taking place in the hill state, people outside get it cheaper while they have to pay more.

Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu had yesterday held a meeting with the officials of industries department to deliberate the issue of high cost of cement in Himachal as compared to neighbouring states.

He is keen that there must be reduction in the prices so that the general public gets relief. Successive regimes, both BJP and Congress, have tried to bring a reduction in prices of cement bags but with little relief.

The sudden decision by the Adani group to shut down operations is being linked as a retaliatory reaction to the government’s move to seek reduction in cement rates. Apprehending pressure by the government to reduce prices of cement, the Adani group could have taken this sudden decision. However, the management of the cement companies have cited the high freight rates, resulting in high operational cost as reason for deciding to close the cement plants.

The company has cited the high freight rates for transporting of cement and other raw material was making production unviable.

The management of the cement plants have asked the employees not to attend their duties with immediate effect, till further instructions.

The plant management has urged the government to implement the recommendations of the committee set up by the State Government so that there can be check on the high transportation rates.

The closure of the cement plants will affect the livelihood of the people surrounding these plants not just by way of direct but also indirect employment. Not only are local people employed in these cement plants but several trucks are engaged in transportation, strengthening the economy of the area where these plants are located.

#gautam adani

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