Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 12 June 2011





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Licences of two importers suspended:

SLSI ensures quality in cement

A construction boom is expected within the next couple of years following a major infrastructure development drive by the private and the public sector.

The government in collaboration with the private sector hopes to transform the country into a strategically important economic centre within the next 10 years.

Construction of ports, airports, highways, hotels and resorts for the tourism sector; large irrigation projects and power plants are some of the mega infrastructure projects earmarked to expedite development.

One cannot think of construction without quality inputs such as cement which is a vital component for solid constructions.

The cement industry should be ready and geared for the task as quality of construction depends on the quality of cement.

A large number of cement brands proliferate the market due to imports from neighbouring countries.

Cement is imported in bag and bulk form and is checked for quality and compliance to local market standards by the Sri Lanka Standards Institute (SLSI).

SLSI Chairman, Kanchana Ratwatte said that the import licences of two cement importers have been suspended and added that if cement does not comply with the SLSI standards, the licence of the importer will be suspended.

SLSI conducts tests on arrival and after 28 days to test the strength of the cement.

“Deviation from quality standards will result in poor quality construction. SLSI will ensure that manufactured and imported cement comply with quality standards”, Ratwatte said.

The SLSI is the government arm which certifies food safety and quality standards of products in the country.

The Consumer Affairs Authority and the Customs ensure quality and safety of products manufactured or imported to the country.

CEO/Secretary General, Construction Industry of Sri Lanka, Dakshitha Thalagodapitiya said that proliferation of low quality cement is a dangerous phenomena and added that speedy action is vital to protect the construction industry.

“Retail customers could be taken for a ride as they have no access to quality checks or gauge the standard of cement. Some mechanism is essential to protect local manufacturers”, he said.

Holcim Lanka Ltd is the only integrated manufacturer of cement while Tokyo Cement imports clinker and manufactures cement.

A construction sector expert said that a large number of substandard cement is imported to the country which could affect the quality of construction in the country.

He said that enforcement of quality standards is vital to stop importation of poor quality cement which would affect the standard of construction.

Construction will expand with the infrastructure development in the North and the East which offers many opportunities for development. Sri Lanka is reputed for quality construction and some of the architectural masterpieces of world renowned architects.

Quality cement is the cornerstone of solid construction and would help uphold the country’s reputation for superior quality construction.



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