Surat’s textile mills may get direct supply of lignite from GMDC’s Bhavnagar site.

Surat :  If all goes well, over 450 textile dyeing and printing mills in Surat and nearby talukas won’t have to depend on the imported coal to run their units during the monsoon season. The  Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation (GMDC) may bring the lignite from its mining site in Bhavnagar to the Magdalla port via sea route.

Managing Director (MD) of GMDC, Rupwant Singh, during his visit in the city on Monday, met the office-bearers of the South Gujarat Textile Processors’ Association (SGTPA). Singh has assured his department will take pro-active measures to ensure that the textile mills do not run out of lignite for the manufacturing and processing of the textile fabric in Surat.

Industry experts said the lignite mines operated by GMDC remain shut during the monsoon season. However, the textile mill owners have to depend on the imported coal, which is costlier than the coal provided by the GMDC.

Jitendra Vakharia, president of SGTPA told TBT, “The production cost of the fabrics processed in the textile mills during monsoon season increases due to the shortage of lignite. The imported coal is costlier compared to the coal mined in south Gujarat by GMDC. The lignite mined at the GMDC’s Bhavnagar site can save up to 50% in the transportation cost”

At the meeting chaired by GMDC MD, Rupwant Singh, industry leaders including chairman of Pratibha Group, Pramod Choudhary, Kamal Tulsiyan and Binay Aggarwal remained present.

Pramod Chaudhary, chairman of Pratibha group stated that the mill owners are asked to deposit the amount for the lignite supplied by GMDC in other bank accounts. However, the GMDC should make an arrangement for the direct transfer of funds to the GMDC via RTGS or NEFT.

“Also, there is a need to frame a policy for the small and medium unit owners who have to pay higher charges for ordering lignite from GMDC. The quality of lignite should be such that the mill owners can take maximum benefits under the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)” said Choudhary.

Vakharia said, “Applications for new registrations by the mill owners should be cleared in a time-bound manner and that the lease agreement should be renewed on time to maintain the required stock of lignite for the industries”