Raipur, Jan 11: Nearly 500 people Wednesday blocked the entry points of Century Cement’s production unit in Chhattisgarh to protest rising prices of cement, police said.
Members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as well as the opposition Congress reached the cement plant in Tilda area of Raipur with over 500 locals and stopped the company staff from going to work.
The protesters also did not allow the company officials to transport the cement bags out of the factory.
Terming the situation as ‘alarming’, Raipur District Superintendent of Police Dipanshu Kabra said police presence has been beefed up at the protest site.
BJP legislator Devjibhai Patel, who is organising the blockade along with Congress leader Vidhan Mishra, told IANS that they would organise the economic blockade one by one at the plants of all the seven leading cement manufactures, including Lafarge India, Ambuja Cement, Grasim and UltraTech Cement.
‘All the cement manufacturers in India’s leading cement producing state of Chhattisgarh will have to face a strong economic blockade because they have formed a cartel and have been consistently raising prices though there is no rise in raw materials and labour cost,’ Patel said.
He said a cement bag, which cost Rs.190 in September, was now priced at Rs.280. He said the blockade would be lifted only after the companies agree in writing to dissolve the cartel and reduce their cement prices.
The cement companies have been tightlipped over the issue.