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Brick kiln workers take to street against 'black marketing of sand'

HT Correspondent  Ludhiana, March 28, 2013
First Published: 20:04 IST(28/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:05 IST(28/3/2013)

To protest against the alleged black marketing of sand and wrongly done auction of sand mines in state, the Brick Kiln Workers' Association and Lal Jhanda Punjab Bhatha Mazdoor Union started a two-day sit-in dharna at Grain Market on Kohara road in Sahnewal on Thursday.

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The activists of these organisations said the monopoly over the sand mines in state had led to black marketing of sand that had ultimately resulted in shooting up of sand prices.

Centre of Indian Trade Union (CITU) district secretary Tarsem Singh Jodha said the wrongly done auction of sand mines in the state had led to monopoly over the trade in state.

“Due to this, the prices of sand that was available for Rs. 6 to 7 per cubic feet last year during these days, was now available for Rs. 34-35 per cubic feet,” he added.

Jodha said the government was not willing to open other mining sites deliberately, which was affecting the availability of sand in market.

He said the non-availability of sand in state was hitting the overall construction industry and lakhs of workers engaged in construction industry had been left jobless in the state.
“Other industries, such as iron, plywood, sanitary equipments and paint are also getting affected due to this,” Jodha said.

The protesters demanded that the state government open all mining sites in the state so that the demand of sand in market could be met properly, and its prices could be brought down to make it affordable for the common man.

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