Protesting against the escalation of prices in cement, a day-long fast by Builders Association of India (BAI) Madurai Chapter was observed in Madurai on August 21. Civil Engineers Association, and Corporation Contractors Association also joined the fast observation.S Pandian, Chairman, BAI Madurai Chapter, said that the price of a bag of cement has increased by around 20 per cent within the last two to three months alone despite cement companies having been fined for malpractices. The current spike in prices of cement is having an adverse effect on both the public and private sector projects.He said that there are no or very few takers for tenders of new government schemes. Also, many housing projects are being put on hold due to the cost escalation. Agitations are being staged across the State to press the demand for a regulatory body to rein in the cement sector, he added.