AIADMK general secretary J. Jayalalithaa flayed the state government for failing to stabilise the spiralling prices of construction material, saying it had adversely affected people.
“About 25 lakh construction workers have been affected due to the steep increase in the prices and the construction activity has virtually stopped,” she claimed on Sunday. She said there was no justification in the escalation, as the cost of raw material for cement and bricks had not increased.
While the prices are under check in neighbouring states, only in Tamil Nadu have the prices of cement, bricks, sand, iron increased on an unprecedented scale over the past two months, she added.
“The cost of bricks, sold for Rs 3.5 each, and hollow bricks that used to cost Rs 11 each, has doubled. A tonne of steel which was Rs 32,000 has increased to Rs 40,000; a unit of gravel has increased from Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,500 and cement bags sold for Rs 145 each earlier are now being sold for Rs 300,” she said.
She alleged that the prices rose due to a cartel formed by cement manufacturers and because the “DMK encouraged smuggling and hoarding.” Her party would stage an agitation in Karur on November 16.