It stood for ROHTAS INDUSTRIES LIMITED. ( of Ram Krishan Dalmia group ).
I remember my college days in Delhi ,in late 1970 s when I used to come in a Three Wheeler from New Delhi Railway station to St. Stephen's College via Filmistan Cinema ( Opp DCM Mills )and Hindu Rao Hospital . In between we passed through Old Subzi Mandi. Around old Subzi Mandi there was a building on which was etched , probably , in cement an advertisement -
" ALWAYS USE ROHTAS PORTLAND CEMENT "
This ad , in 1970 s ,was ironical in two ways :-
1 ) Firstly , in 1970 Rohtas Cement had stopped production.
2 ) At that time , consumers of cement did not have the luxury of choosing their brand.
At that time , Govt. departments issued Cement permits ( after due bureaucratic procedures / corruption ) and told cement consumers to pick up their cement bags from specified suppliers
And AT GOVT RATES.
Govt. specified the Selling prices of cement ( there was a flourishing black market ) and cement bags were in the august company of American Dollar. Both had one official rate and one Black market rate )
Govt appointed Loveraj Kumar Committee to determine the fair price of cement It divided all Cement pants in to 3 categories. As per the skewed permit / quota Raj , inefficient old wet process cements were allowed to charge more than the new Dry process plants. Subsidising inefficiency.
In those my college days , ( 1975-80 ) the biggest dealer of ACC cement in Delhi was a firm named Atma Ram Chadha ( ARC ). They had diversified and put up a premium cinema house in New Delhi around Greater Kailash named ARC-CHANA We saw many English movies in this theater
Then in 1980s when many Mini Cement plant companies came up, Atma Ram Chadha group floated a Public Limited Company ( with a IPO ) named ARC Cements Limited. It put up a mini cement plant around Dehradun - Mussoorie Road. Later , this plant was closed because of environmental issues. Other Mini Cement plant shares of those times were Dhar Cement ( plant at Damoh , MP ) etc.
Rohtas Industries Limited ( initially named Rohtas Sugar ) of Ram Krishan Dalmia group was a very dynamic company. Its shares , in Delhi Stock Exchange , were listed in the " Forward " list meaning its transactions could be carried forward to the next settlement by paying a " Badla "amount.
Rohtas Industries , after sugar and cement put put Paper and Vanaspati ( Hanuman Vanaspati Units. All its products were in shorty supply and commanded a premium in the grey markets.
In 1938 , Rohtas Industries cement plant was inaugurated by the Great Freedom Struggle Leader, Netaji Subhash Chander Bose