Sky-high buildings of the country are in danger, bridges are in danger, dams are in danger and in danger are the lives of crores of people. The reason is well-known : renowned cement companies are supplying spurious cement in the market. In this black business of spurious cement, in addition to these companies, bureaucrats and many Government departments are also involved. From the business of spurious cement, black money worth billions of rupees is being earned, but alas!, the Central and State Governments are not bothered at all.
Almost every day we hear news about some building or the other, some bridge or some dam collapsing, and accept that the resultant deaths are due to ‘our destiny’. For such collapses and the deaths that take place due to them, it is the cement making corporate companies which are supplying spurious and adulterated cement in the market, along with ‘piggy-back institutions/organisations’, who are responsible. In this murky business of making and selling spurious cement systematically, there is a well-organised syndicate at work, which includes cement producing big industrialists, their “piggy-back” companies, Government officials as well as important Government departments. Recently, in Delhi, the national capital, 10 people were killed in a building collapse. In Barabanki, near Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh capital, a bus full of passengers had a narrow escape as a bridge it was crossing suddenly collapsed – the back end of the bus was left dangling precariously on the damaged bridge and people survived because the front of the bus somehow remained on the bridge.
The market is saturated with spurious cement in sacks/bags or packets of many well known companies like ACC, Ambuja, and Ultratech. It is with this cement that people’s homes are being constructed and it is with this cement that big Government establishments, bridges and dams etc, are being constructed. And it is with this spurious cement that big contractors who take Government contracts are carrying out Government work. Government departments are fully involved in this murky business and by declaring spurious cement to be genuine and by approving structures being constructed with spurious cement, are issuing quality certificates. In this game, Central Excise, the Bureau of Indian Standards, income tax, sales tax, electricity departments, banks and police — everybody is involved. This cement is being made by none else but well known cement making companies who are enjoying the benefits at the cost of the lives of common people. We will tell you in detail how big cement making establishments produce spurious cement through their “piggy-back” companies, how they fill it in their sacks/packets and send it to the market, how upon being caught, try to deny any involvement and how a well-organised syndicate of theirs works.
Amongst the main firms that are involved in making spurious cement in the name of famous companies like ACC, Ambuja, Birla, Vikram, Ultratech and many such well known companies, are Muzzafarnagar’s Continental Cement Factory, Messrs Ganesh Traders, Messrs Balaji Traders, Messrs Singhal Traders, Messrs Chandra Carbon, Messrs Shiv Trading Company of Ghaziabad, a Bareilly firm, Messrs Gupta Traders and Messrs Nisha Enterprise of Rishikesh. These companies grind the cement that has hardened due to moisture and become waste, in their grinding factories, and by mixing in the colour of cement and some other substances make it look like cement. But the quality of this cement remains equal to zero. It is this cement which is filled in the sacks/bags of ACC, Ambuja, Ultratech and such well known companies and is then supplied in the market.
The sorrowful part is that the cement which has hardened due to moisture and become waste is sent mostly from the side of big companies to ‘‘piggy-back’’ factories who turn them into spurious cement. These big companies send their sacks/bags/packets too, in which spurious cement is filled and sent to the market. This spurious cement is selling in the market under some other names too. Chauthi Duniya has some official documents in its possession which prove that it is big companies who
are getting grinding done of cement which has hardened due to moisture, and after mixing in cement and iron dust etc, getting it packed to be sold in the market. Apart from this, in the name of slag dust too these cement companies are indulging in innumerable scams. The murky business of inferior cement has the whole nation in its grip. By grinding moisturised and bad cement and using it again as cement is a crime. The Bureau of Indian Standards also confirms it, but it is by taking cover of the Bureau itself that ACC, Ambuja, Birla, Vikram, Ultratech and many such famous companies are carrying on this business. It is notable that the Indian Government has given the Bureau of Indian Standards itself the legal right to check and test the quality of factory products and accordingly issue certification. But this authority is being misused. Uttar Pradesh is at the centre of this business of spurious cement. Whether cement is real or spurious is tested by the Forensic Science Laboratory at Agra which then duly issues certification. But, ironically, the Forensic Science Laboratory at Agra just does not have the necessary equipment and technical facilities for cement testing. The Agra Forensic Laboratory does not even have recognition or authorisation from the Bureau of Indian Standards to identify real or spurious cement, but the business is going on despite this without any change. It is certain that this is not possible without the collusion of high ranking bureaucrats and high level political personalities of the State. To show less production, theft of electricity is going on recklessly, in which officials and workers of the electricity department are fully involved.
Messrs Continental Cement Company of Muzaffarnagar has even been caught red handed selling cement by illegally putting the I.S.I. mark on the packed cement. Deputy General Manager R.K. Tayal of the Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation had officially informed ACC Limited, Ultratech Cement and Ambuja Cement Limited that the ‘industry’ of filling their company’s bags with spurious cement and selling them in the market is operating on a very large scale. Spurious cement is being made by small companies like Continental Cement but to package it, bags of well known companies like ACC, Birla Plus, Gujarat Ambuja, and Ultratech are being used. In a raid conducted on Continental Cement Company of Muzaffarnagar alone, 25,000 sacks/bags were recovered, filled with spurious cement, and these sacks/bags were ready to be sent to the market. From this one place alone 80,000 packets of spurious cement are supplied to the market every month. The managements of those big companies were also informed, but the companies didn’t pay any heed. The Bureau of Indian Standards was also given information about first hand detection of misdeeds involving illegal misuse of the I.S.I. seal, but the Bureau too didn’t give any importance to it. Neither did this matter seem serious to the Vigilance Branch of the Bureau. Surprisingly even the Industry Ministry sat on this vital information.
How dangerous the spurious cement being sent to the market is – this information had been given to the Central Industry Ministry. In the cement that was caught, iron dust and other non essential substances were mixed. According to the provisions (I.S:1489(Part-1)1991) of the Bureau of Indian Standards, mixing of iron dust in cement is extremely deadly, that is why it is totally prohibited. According to the parameters set, there is provision of making cement by mixing 65 per cent clinker, 30 per cent fly ash and 5 per cent gypsum but all kinds of non essential elements are being mixed in cement and the lives of the people are being played with. The President and Prime Minister of the country along with the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and the Chief Secretary were given detailed information about the murky business of spurious cement and documents to expose such criminal activity were also delivered, but it isn’t only the Government in power in Delhi that is hard of hearing, the Governments in the States are even more deaf. Officials of the Government are working to further increase this disability.
In Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and in the States of the North-East, bhutani powder is being used heavily in making spurious cement. The above mentioned powder resembles cement and is mixed with real cement and sold in the market. Bhutani powder is also known as dolomite powder. Some people even use it as fertiliser. But some local people say that the soil of some special areas in Bhutan is the same as the colour as cement and after dissolving in water looks like cement itself. This is why it is sold mixed together with cement. In the supply of bhutani powder, primarily the names of Messrs Nob Minerals, Samtse Bhutan have come up. From here itself packets of dolomite powder are supplied. The business of spurious cement is growing willy nilly. “Piggy-back” companies of big companies are caught and released, but no action is taken against the big companies. For some days the factories are sealed and then open again and the business of making spurious cement goes on as always.
A Well Organised Syndicate Of Cement Companies Is Working In The Country
Recently, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) levied a fine of 50 per cent on the profits of cement companies. Due to this action, cartelisation of cement making big companies was officially exposed. CCI levied fines of more than 6,000 crore rupees on 11 companies. CCI also levied fines on the Association of Cement Companies, Cement Manufacturers Association. The companies slapped with a fine — Ambuja Cement, Ultratech Cement, India Cement, ACC Cement, Shree Cement, Jaypee Cement, J.K. Cement, Madras Cement, Century Cement, Binani Cement, and Grasim Cement, were found guilty in the investigation by the CCI. A fine of 632 crore rupees was levied on Ambuja Cement, 546 crore rupees on Ultratech Cement, and 177 crore rupees on India Cement. A fine of 488 crore rupees was levied on ACC Cement and 349 crore rupees on Shree Cement. Grasim Cement had to pay a fine of 1637 crore rupees whereas J.K Cement had to pay 128 crore rupees. Madras Cement paid 282 crore rupees, Century Cement paid 274 crore rupees, Binani Cement paid 167 crore rupees and Jaypee Cement paid 1324 crore rupees as fine. CCI in its investigation found cement companies guilty of cartelisation. CCI had investigated 39 companies for colluding to raise prices of cement as and when they wished and for increasing and decreasing the production of cement in anarchical form, out of which 11 companies were found guilty. CCI found in its investigation that cement companies created a false crisis in the market by reducing the production of cement, because of which all the spurious cement was totally absorbed and sold in the market. After this investigation it was proved that a well organised syndicate of cement companies is working in the country, through which companies are indulging in all sorts of scams. It is notable that in India there are 183 big and 360 small plants of cement. Mostly small plants work as piggy-backs of big companies. The consolidated national business of cement is more than 50,000 crore rupees.
Underworld Don Dawood Ibrahim Has A Stake In The Spurious Cement Business
It sounds strange, but if you talk to officials of the Intelligence Bureau, then you’ll find indication that companies in the business of spurious cement have got the patronage of the notorious underworld don, Dawood Ibrahim. In addition to India, Dawood’s money is in the business of real estate in many other countries as well. Apart from building construction, Dawood has rapidly spread his business in the name of structural development in African countries. For this purpose, ships full of sealed sacks/bags of spurious cement of big companies leave from India for African countries, but all under pseudo names. Sources from Intelligence Agencies reveal that Dawood has made 4 African countries like Somalia, Zimbabwe, Congo and Sudan the centre of his business. Dawood is taking full advantage of the rampant corruption and anarchy in African countries. He is buying land too on a large scale in Africa, so that later he could rent it for agricultural production. In the contracts for development work he is getting spurious cement from Pakistan as well as from India.
Along with being involved in the business of real estate in India, to penetrate the mineral rich States of Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, Dawood Ibrahim is initiating steps to form an alliance with Maoists. He wants to establish his control over illegal mining in the area of coal and other minerals. In India, Dawood was running the business of real estate through his sister Haseena Parkar, but after her death recently he is preparing to give this job to someone close to him who can look after his empire of real estate while living in India. By the way, Dawood’s special man Chota Shakeel is number 3 in D Company; but he takes care of all operations in Mumbai, the biggest centre of the company. Apart from Bollywood, the entire business of real estate, illegal recovery and drugs in the country is Shakeel’s responsibility. On the other hand, the younger brother of Dawood, Anis is financial head of D-Company. All transactions of the company are in the hands of Anis. Apart from this, outside India, in Thailand, England, Dubai, Pakistan and African countries, all work related to real estate is also overseen by Anis Ibrahim. The business of spurious cement and real estate are connected to each other, over which it is Anis himself who keeps a watch.
Spurious Cement Yields Profligate Profits For Companies
From the business of making spurious cement, companies make profligate profits. 1 sack/bag of cement sells for approximately 350 rupees. Acxording to an expert from the cement industry, in 1 sack/bag of cement, raw material worth hardly 20-30 rupees is used. If costs of machinery, electricity-coal and human resources etc, are included, then too around the same amount comes — that is a maximum of 60 rupees. Now if we add 20 rupees more for marketing and advertising, then the total cost reaches 80 rupees. If we take the very maximum, then 100 rupees. But its cost is around 350 rupees or even more than that, which means more than double profit. 90 per cent of the commodities in the market are like this, whose selling price is upto 3-4 times more than the cost of production. n