Monday, February 28, 2011

3 silver smelters sealed in Khadia

Feb 28, 2011, AHMEDABAD:

The sky-rocketing price of silver has drawn Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) officials\' attention to the illegal metal smelting units in the walled city. The officials on Sunday sealed three metal smelting units in Khadia. They were operating in a residential area of Mochi ni Khadki and were involved in smelting of metals like silver.

Sources with the AMC central zone office said that areas like Khadia, Sarangpur and Kalupur have more than 30 illegal smelting units. \"The sealed units operated without license and dumped the metal waste in the drainage which caused blockages. Also smoke from furnaces of these units posed a threat to the health of those living nearby,\" said deputy municipal commissioner, central zone, I K Patel.

However, AMC sources said that such raids have hardly deterred people from setting up illegal smelting units and those sealed become operational in a few months after the drive. \"The margins in the silver smelting business are so high that those running the units get back into the business two or three months after the raid,\" said an AMC source.

However, AMC officials said that they haven\'t come across resurfacing of raided units. \"Once caught we make owner of the illegal unit sign an affidavit, promising that he wouldn\'t start illegal smelting again on the same premise. Also if we find the illegal smelting activity at the spot again we can file a police complaint against them,\" Bhavin Joshi, deputy health officer, central zone.

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