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Salt producers on the warpath

Staff Reporter

BERHAMPUR: Salt producers of Ganjam district have decided not to allow ‘Jayashree Chemicals Limited (JCL)’ to procure salt from outside Orissa till it buys up the local produce.

The administration is also in support of the local salt producers.

Despite reported directives from the administration the company has not been buying salt from local salt producers.

The salt producers of the district, which included members of the Huma-Binchanapalli Salt Producers Cooperative (HBSPC) and private salt producers had decided to stage a dharna in front of the caustic soda factory of JCL near Ganjam town.

They alleged that the company was not procuring salt produced in the district where it was located. It may be noted that salt is a major ingredient of caustic soda production.

“We deferred our agitation till the month-end due to request of the administration,” said K.Duryodhan Reddy, secretary of the HBSPC. Meanwhile Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), southern division, Satyabrata Sahu has written to Ganjam district Collector V.K. Pandian to direct the JCL to procure 25,000 tonnes of salt from local producers at the price of Rs.1250 per tonne as early as possible to avoid any untoward situation.

He has also directed the district administration to make agreement with the JCL so that the company should not refrain from procuring local salt in future.

The officials of JCL alleged that the locally produced salt had impurities in it. The salt producers said in 2006 the JCL authorities during land acquisition for their expansion had promised to provide training and technology in case of need to improve quality of salt.

“As they have not yet come up with any such measure the plea of low-quality salt being produced in Orissa cannot be taken into account,” said Mr Reddy.

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