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Friday, September 15, 2006

Methods to augment salt production discussed

An interactive session between the `Salt Explorers Group' from Gujarat, a consortium of salt manufacturers, and the salt manufacturers in Tuticorin, was organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), here on Thursday.

The session provided a platform for manufacturers of the two largest salt producing states in the country, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, to exchange the salt production techniques practised in their respective regions and discussed methods to augment the production.

They compared the two salt manufacturing provinces in terms of economic aspects, application of technology, productivity, quality and protection against adverse weather conditions.

Answering queries on the status of the salt industry in Gujarat, Dinesh Manek, team leader of Salt Explorers Group, said unlike in Tamil Nadu, the electricity board in Gujarat had recognised the salt manufacturing sector as a `seasonal industry'. "Hence only minimal electricity charges are levied during monsoon time, which had acted to the advantage of the manufacturers," he added.

Prakash Patel, a senior member of the group, asked manufacturers in Tuticorin to raise the charging of brine in crystallisers to nine inches from the present three inches, to reduce impurities and augment the yield.

He advised the Tuticorin entrepreneurs to reduce the ridges in the saltpans and increase the evaporation area to enhance production.

Michael Motha, Member, Central Advisory Board for Salt, Government of India, presented the status of the salt industry in State.

He said a total of 32,296.45 acres of land is presently under the salt cultivation in the State.

D.R Kodeeswaran, secretary, ICCI, also addressed the session.

Source: The Hindu

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