Work on many projects comes to halt: Contractors
In a concern, work on many developmental projects in Kashmir has come to a halt due to decline in the supply of locally manufactured cement.
As the state-owned JK Cements Limited— which was earlier the main supply of the cement to the government projects, is witnessing decline in its production, the Valley has largely become dependent on the imported cement.
“The shortage of cement has forced contractors stop work on various projects, be it in government or private sector,” chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Contractors’ Coordination Committee, Ghulam Jeelani Purza, said.
“For last two weeks we are witnessing shortfall in supply of cement,” he said.
Purza said the developmental works were going on in full swing on some projects. “However, the cement shortage has brought the work to a standstill on several projects,” he said, adding that in private sector also many constructions could not be completed due to cement shortage.
Market observers said that there are two factors responsible for the shortfall of cement in the local market. “One, there was strike for sometime by the locals in Khrew area which is the hub of cement manufacturing units. Due to this strike the cement factories remained closed for some time causing decline in the production.”
“The second reason,” they said, “is the widening gap in demand and supply.”
“There was a lull in construction sector post September floods. However, during last one month the works have again started and the demand for the cement has picked up, which in turn has widened the gap between the demand and the supply,” they said.
Omar Tramboo of Khyber Cements believes that it is a “temporary shortage” and the demand and supply in coming days will balance.
Representative of cement manufacturing units, Muhammad Shafi Tramboo told that due to strike in Khrew area by local, the production in the cement factories came down as these factories remained closed for 12 days.
“There was no production during the strike period and the demand mounted,” he said adding that in next few days things will get back to normal.