Hindustan Salts Seeks Surplus Land For Rock Salt Processing In…
Hindustan Salts Ltd, a central public sector enterprise, requested the Himachal Pradesh government to provide surplus land on lease for further processing and increasing ‘rock salt’ output in Drang, Mandi on Monday.
Hindustan Salts chairman and managing director SP Bansal called on state chief minister Jai Ram Thakur in Mandi and put forth his demand for surplus land. Drang in Mandi is famous for the best mines of rock salt — also known as ‘Gumma salt’ in local parlance — in India after Pakistan and Afghanistan.
These mines were started in May 1963 and closed in January 2011, due to non-forest clearance from the environment and forest ministry and non-deposit of royalty by the company. However, after re-commissioning in March 2016, the rock salt mine was extracting around 1,500 tonnes of salt every year from Maigal, Darang and Gumma mines.
The company got clearance from the Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoEF) for setting up a plant for the extraction of rock salt at a cost of ₹300 crore.
Besides being a point of tourist attraction, the rock salt mines when fully commissioned will provide employment to around more than 2,000 youth.
The chief minister asked the deputy commissioner, Mandi to look into the issue of land so that Himachal rock salt could make its mark in the international market as well.