No goods train in Punjab; cement industry also affected
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
Indian railways decision to not the run goods train in Punjab affected not only the power sector, agriculture sector, imports, exports but also affected one of the major industry-Real Estate sector.
Due to the decision taken by the railways to not to run the goods train in Punjab, the cement industry also got affected, giving dent to the real estate segment. It as facing problem in getting raw material and sending the finish product-Cement, due to the railway ministry decision.
Punjab has two government owned (at Ropar and Lehra Mohabbat) and three private thermal plants (L&T owned Nabha Power Limited at Rajpura, Vedanta owned Talwani Sabo power plant in district Mansa and GVK owned plat at Goindwal sahib in Tarn Taran district).
Cement industry is co related to thermal plants. In order to complete utilization of fly ash, Cement plants are established near the Thermal plants. Cement plants require nearly 70-80% of limestone for manufacturing clinker which is grinded for making cement. Cement industry takes the fly ash generated by these coal based thermal plants, as one of the raw material along with the clinkers. Only 20-30% of fly ash is being currently used in making Pozzolana Portland Cement (PPC).
In Punjab, Ambuja Cements have plants in Ropar and Bathinda districts, Ultratech cements have a plant at Lehra Mohabbat in Bathinda district, Duraton cement at village Rajgarh at Rajpura in Patiala district.
After the closure of goods train, Ultratech Cement plant at Lehra mohabbat in Bathinda, faces shortage of one of the basic raw material-clinkers, supplied through the goods train. KK Sharma, logistics head at Ultratech Plant at Lehra Mohabbat said “our plant is facing problem due to the inward movement of trains in Punjab. We are not getting the clinkers, which we use to get through goods train from Rajasthan.”
One of the major plants of cement industry giant Ambuja Cements in Ropar district, is also facing the heat due to the stoppage of trains in Punjab. Senior vice president (Operations) of Ambuja Cement Ropar plant, Rajiv Jain said “we are not facing any raw material problem, as we are getting the clinkers from Himachal Pradesh and fly ash from various thermal plants, through trucks. But due to stoppage of goods train, our cement supply to outside state like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana etc. has been affected. We are facing problem to send the cement bags out of Punjab.”
Another Ambuja cement plant at Bathinda too faces problem. Kailash a quality control head of Ambuja’s bathinda plant said “ though our Bathinda plant is not as big as company’s Ropar plant, but we are facing problem to send the cement bags around Bathinda and its surrounding areas as the truckers are not available. After the stoppage of trains, the trucks are in demand, these days to supply the products, out of the state”