December 18, 2017 02:30 AM Arpana Ale Magar
Plant workers are getting a minimum of Rs 20,000 per month.
NAWALPARASI, Dec 18: Hongshi Shivam Cement Pvt Ltd, which is setting up its plant at Sardi village of Nawalparasi district, has provided employment to more than 1,000 Nepalis, directly or indirectly, thereby contributing to improving livelihood of the local people.
The company, a joint venture between Hongshi Holding Group of China and Shivam Cement Pvt Ltd is investing Rs 36 billion in the plant. Hongshi Holding owns 70 percent of shares in the joint venture, while Shivam Cement owns the remaining 30 percent.
According to Gaurav Goel, deputy general manager Hongshi Shivam Cement, more than 1,600 workers are currently working at the construction site. Around 1,100 of them are Nepalis, while the remaining area Chinese. They are earning a minimum of Rs 20,000 per month, according to Goel.
“Chinese workers are earning more than Nepali workers as they are working in a foreign land,” he said, adding: “Wage of workers starts from Rs 650 per day.”
Goel also informed that another 270 workers are busy at the construction site of resettlement area where a total of 26 houses are being built for 26 families displaced from the project's mine in Bhutuke of Palpa.
Ram Lakhan Mahat, one of the contractors of resettlement area, said that a single worker is earning Rs 750 per day.
The resettlement process is expected to be completed within the February, 2018.
According to Goel, kitchen workers are pocketing Rs 9,000 per month, excluding overtime payments. Most of the kitchen workers are local women.
Miku Saru Magar, a kitchen staff at the plant construction site, said the job means her a lot. “I am getting Rs 9,000 per month. They have promised to review raise salary after three months,” Magar, who hails from Palpa, said. “We also get overtime payments.”
Kitchen staff work between 5:30 am 5:30 pm with two hours break.
“We are paid for eight hour's work. For additional time, they pay us extra,” she added.
The company has spent Rs 128 million in salary of local staff so far.
Lai Weipeng, general manager of Hongshi Shivam Cement, said that the plant will employ 1,000 people upon completion. “This project will uplift socio-economic condition of locals of Sardi village as well as the entire country,” Weipeng said, “Upon completion, around 600 Nepalis will get direct employment while another 1,000 will be employed indirectly.”
Twenty-three Nepalis are currently undergoing training at Hongshi headquarters in China. “We will deploy them in the field after their training is complete. It is compulsory for every employee to take 20-hour before they start working on the site,” he added.
Construction work is going on in three shifts. The company started construction in January 2017. “Our plan is to start cement production from February 2018. Clinker production will begin from April 2018,” Goel added.
The company will have installed capacity of 6,000 tons per day. It will generate 12 MW from thermal power generating system. It will send its product in the market with the brand name 'Hongshivam'.
'Govt should deliver on its promises'
Hongshi Shivam Cement Pvt Ltd has said that the government has failed to lived up to its promise of developing infrastructures like transmission lines and road access for cement industries.
Officials of the company, which is building a plant in 76 hectares of land in Sardi village of Nawalparasi, said the government has not done needful work for building roads and arranging power supply even though the company is starting production in two months.
“We need 132 KV transmission line in our plant. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has said that it will build the transmission line within two years,” Gaurav Goel, deputy general manager of the company, said. “The delay in construction of transmission line has put an additional financial burden of Rs 1.36 billion on us to buy 17 diesel plants.”
The government has also not given mining approval to the company, according to Goel.