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Syndicateraj behind high prices of construction materials: APCC

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 Jun 2017 12:00 AM GMT

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 21: The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has raised the demand for a CBI inquiry into the skyrocketing prices of construction materials in the State.

Addressing newsmen at Rajiv Bhavan in the city today, senior APCC spokesperson Durga Das Boro said: “Checking prices and putting an end to syndicateraj were poll promises of the BJP that came to power in the State with the slogan of parivartan (change). However, Dispur has utterly failed to check the rising prices of construction materials in the State as there is a thriving business through syndicates in the State. The State Government knows everything but opts to turn a blind eye. In such a situation, we demand a CBI inquiry into the rise in prices of construction materials and syndicateraj in the State so as to expose those who are behind the syndicates.”

On cement syndicates in the State, Boro said: “A top RSS leader is controlling the cement syndicate in the State. In the past one year, the price of cement has gone up by Rs 100 a bag. The syndicate of cement is hiking prices on its own under political patroge. This is not all. The evasion of tax from cement that enters to the State from the neighbouring States is rampant. The modus operandi is allowing a large number of truckloads of cement against a single challan. The godowns at Byrnihat, Betola and Assam Site have over 50,000 tonnes of cement. However, 50 per cent of them are supplied illegally. The syndicate is run by a top RSS leader who has an education network in the State. The BJP government at Dispur didn’t take up the issue of checking cement prices at their meeting with cement company owners. After the meeting, the prices of cement went up, pouring cold water into people’s dreams of erecting houses.”

On sand syndicates, Boro said: “Sand syndicates have mushroomed in the State, especially in Kamrup. The settlement of only three sand mahals have been given in Guwahati. Going by that, the administration can’t issue more than 30 challans for sand-laden trucks. However, under the very nose of forest personnel, administration and police personnel 400-500 truckloads of sand are transported without challans in the district. The sand is collected by using machines illegally from riverbeds. The government has to suffer huge loss of revenue in that way. This illegal business is an open secret now.”

Boro alleged that a former minister of the AGP tenure is behind the illegal sand business with full support from State Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma.

On coal syndicate in Tinsukia district, Boro said: “It’s now running like a well-oiled machine. The syndicate is being run under the collaboration of the police, Forest Department, administration and the local MLA. Despite prohibition from Green Tribul crude coal and coke keep coming to Assam from Aruchal Pradesh through fake challans. A section of BJP leaders have been running an organized syndicate with the police and forest personnel along the border hills, nmdang, Ledu, Bomgira, Borgolai etc.”

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