Chennai, June 9 (PTI): AIADMK leader and former deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin to identify the root-cause of the steep rise in the price of construction materials and ensure that the price was brought under control.
'The increase in prices of the construction materials has reached a new peak which was not even prevailing in any other States,' Panneerselvam said in a letter to Stalin, a copy of which was shared to the media on Wednesday.
Citing media reports, Panneerselvam said the cement price, hovering over Rs 440 per bag before the COVID-19 enforced lockdown, was currently being sold between Rs 500 and Rs 520.
'Similarly, one load of small gravel which was sold at Rs 3,500 was now being retailed at Rs 5,000 while a load of 3,000 bricks sold at Rs 23,000 was being sold at Rs 27,000 now,' he said.
He said the sale of construction materials has slid due to the prevailing lockdown with real estate projects halted.
'There is a concern among the public whether the construction materials were being hoarded in anticipation of a huge demand after lockdown is lifted,' he said.
'Due to this, people, who have taken up new construction activity or renovating existing property by availing of loans from financial institutions, are facing hardship,' he said.
Panneerselvam pointed out that during the AIADMK regime the then chief minister J Jayalailthaa introduced the 'Amma Cement' scheme allowing low and middle income groups to purchase cement bags at subsidised rates.
'I request the Chief Minister (M K Stalin) to lay special emphasis on the issue, identify the root-cause of the steep price spike in construction materials and ensure that the prices are kept under control. If necessary, the government may consider selling construction materials at subsidised rates,' he said. PTI VIJ NVG NVG