Besides truckers and company, the state government was incurring a loss of Rs 2 crore per day in taxes due to the closure of cement plants, and till date it suffered a loss to the tune of about Rs 134 crores.
The stalemate ended following a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, with both sides deciding to resume operations from today.
CM Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, who had been supporting the truck unions, said, ”We are here to promote the industries, we are committed to provide them a favourable environment”.
The 67-day deadlock between the two Adani Group-owned cement plants in Himachal Pradesh and truckers’ unions over freight charges ended on Monday with the two sides agreeing on new rates, the state government said.
The stalemate ended following a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu, with both sides deciding to resume operations from today (Feb 21).
‘We have arrived at consensus, thereby protecting the interests of both the truck-operator unions and the management, besides welfare of all others who were being directly or indirectly hit by the stalemate.” the CM said.
Sukhu, who had been supporting the truck unions, said, ”We are here to promote the industries, we are committed to provide them a favourable environment”.
The cement plants – ACC’s factory in Barmana (Bilaspur district) and Ambuja Cements factory in Darlaghat (Solan district) have remained closed since December 15 over demands by truck unions that the freight charges be increased.
After the change of ownership of the cement factories, the new management refused to provide freight at the old rates and the dispute came to the fore just five days after the Congress government assumed power and the two plants were shut. The group accused the truck operators of controlling the market by oversupplying vehicles and maintaining a rate profitable only to the unions.
”The new freight rates from tomorrow for single-axle trucks of 12 tons would be Rs 10.30 per ton per km for Ambuja Cements’ Darlaghat plant and ACC’s Gagal plant as compared to earlier rates of Rs 11.41 for ACC’s Gagal (Bilaspur district) and Rs 10.58 for Ambuja Cements’ Darlaghat units,” the Adani Group, which acquired the two cement companies last September, said in a statement.
The new rates are less than the existing charges. The truck unions were demanding that the freight charges be increased from Rs 10.58 to Rs 10.71 as was done by the Ultratech cement plant at Baga, which is within 20 km of vicinity of both the Adani cement plants, with five percent rebate on multiple axles while the Adani group was offering Rs 10 for six-ton single-axle trucks and Rs 9 for double-axles.
The new rates for multi-axle 24-ton trucks would be Rs 9.30 per ton per km for both units, it said.
”This will result in an overall reduction of 10-12 per cent in the freight rates benefiting the customers of Himachal Pradesh,”the Adani Group statement said.
”This outcome is positive for ACC and Ambuja Cements and all the stakeholders involved. In line with our commitments, we are pleased to share that ACC and Ambuja Cements will resume operations effective tomorrow at the Gagal and Darlaghat plants in Himachal Pradesh,” it said.
The CM also said that Principal Secretary (Industries) and other officers would chalk out a formula for matters related to the annual increase in freight rates. Instructions have also been given to the Deputy Commissioners of Solan and Bilaspur to solve the other problems of the truck operators, according to the statement.
Besides truckers and company, the state government was incurring a loss of Rs 2 crore per day in taxes due to the closure, and till date it suffered a loss to the tune of about Rs 134 crores.
(With inputs from PTI)