Smuggled cement sold in open market in Vellore
After receiving complaints that subsided cement bags of the ‘Amma Cement’ scheme were being sold in openly in Vellore district, the officials of the Tamil Nadu Cement Corporation (Tancem) are planning to conduct an inquiry.
Tancem sells cement from 12 godowns in Vellore. Apart 12 godowns in Vellore. Apart from this, subsidised cement bags are also being sold to the beneficiaries through the Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies go downs. The beneficiaries are entitled to procure a maximum of 100 bags of cement for repair works and 750 bags for construction of houses (1,500 sq feet).
The beneficiaries should obtain an acknowledgment certificate from the respective village administrative officer (VAO) and block development officer (BDO). They have to produce the blueprint of the construction site and register with the godowns of Tancem, said an official Sources claimed that around 1 lakh bags of the government subsidised cement have been sold illegally from the godowns in Walajapet, Vellore and Ranipet in Vellore district in the last three months. “In the last three months alone, over 1.10 lakh cement bags are sold in the black market from these three godowns,“ said the source.
With price ranging from Rs 365 to Rs 375 per bag, it is much cheaper than other brands. “Corrupt officials are hand in glove with the brokers and hardware merchants, who submit fake documents to avail the Amma cement bags and sell it at higher prices,“ said the source.
A retired government employee also alleged that workers manning the godowns also sell cement bags illegally. “When I was constructing a house, one of the employees in the Tancem godowns in Vellore said that he would supply any number of cement bags. He asked me to give `30 extra per bag,“ the source said.