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February 5, 2001
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Salt industry suffers 1 million tonne production loss

The salt industry in Gujarat has been severely hit by the earthquake on January 26 with loss of salt production estimated at 1 million tonnes.

"The Rann of Kutch along with Dachigam, Chirai, Bachau and Jamnagar, which are the major salt producing areas, have been affected by the devastating quake with production coming to a near standstill," official sources said.

Though official estimates were unavailable, the preliminary figures had put the production losses at around 1 million tonnes.

In value terms the losses are around Rs 100 million, sources said, adding, that it would take at least a month to bring back the panic-stricken workers.

Loss of human life among the 72,000 odd salt workers in the state is minimal as most workers sleep out in the open but the production has been affected as workers are migrating due to continued tremors, they said.

The production season of salt is still on, sources said, and around 200 salt production units are estimated to have suffered the brunt of the quake.

The main salt production season begins in November up to March, often extending up to June.

Sources, however, pointed out that since Gujarat is a salt surplus producing state, despite the stoppage of production, the quake will not affect the country's overall supply of salt.

The Complete Coverage | List of earthquake sites

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