Adani Group closes two cement factories in HP, leaving workers in a precarious situation.

The firm, which in September purchased the Ambuja Cement Plant in Darlaghat in the Solan district and the ACC Cement Plant at Gagal in the Bilaspur district, has cited high freight charges as the reason for its choice.

The Adani Group announced on Thursday that it has made the decision to permanently halt operations at two cement factories in the hill state because it was losing money as a result of high transportation expenses.

The group –which had acquired ACC Cement Plant at Gagal in Bilaspur district and Ambuja Cement Plant, Darlaghat, in Solan district in September – has blamed high freight rates for its decision. However, many see it as a retaliatory move against the newly elected Congress government, which was looking to reduce cement rates in the state, which has been a hot-button issue in

To reduce costs, the firm had been negotiating with the transport unions. Officials in charge of the Darlaghat Ambuja Cement facility had written to the transport unions, saying: “As you are aware, our plants are under significant pressure to cut the cost of operations in order to sustain themselves in the market. Due to the high cost of transportation in the current market, we are having trouble competing, and if this trend keeps up, our factories will become unprofitable.
“Due to your uncompromising attitude we are being forced to pay expensive freight, which is greater than the existing market rates,” the executives wrote in their letter.

The business also called attention to a study titled “Fixation of freight prices” in a letter to the Solan deputy commissioner.

The company authorities had stated that the tariff had been proposed after taking into account all factors and that if it was not decreased, they would be compelled to hire other transporters or cease operations at the cement facilities.
Cement is being transported at a rate of 10.58 cents per kilometre in hilly areas and 5.38 cents in the plains. According to Jai Deva Kaundal, president of the Solan District Truck Operators, “Companies are urging us to decrease the prices to $6 per kilometre per quintal in the highlands.” Given that fuel, usage is higher in the hills, what will truck owners make if they agree to these rates?

Chief secretary RD Dhiman said, “The matter is solely between the management of the company and transport unions.


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