Thursday, July 4, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Nangal may lose heavy water plant
Lalit Mohan

Ropar, July 3
Owing to the proposed disinvestment of National Fertilisers Ltd. (NFL), the Department of Atomic Energy was planning to dismantle Asia’s oldest heavy water plant at Nangal. Reliable sources told The Tribune that the heavy water plant situated in the Nangal unit of the NFL was a major hurdle in the disinvestment process of the company.

The Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers and the Department of Atomic Energy has expressed risk in handing over the heavy water plant in private hands keeping in view the national interest. The Disinvestment Ministry was now impressing upon the Department of Atomic Energy to shift or dismantle its heavy water plant based at Nangal so that the disinvestment of NFL could be carried forward.

The sources said under pressure from the Ministry of Disinvestment the Department of Atomic Energy had constituted a committee to look into the method of dismantling the plant. The committee was considering the government-owned fertiliser plants at Kota and Orissa as the likely places where the heavy water plant could be shifted. However, the sources told the dismantling and reinstalling process was very difficult. If the plant was dismantled from Nangal it was unlikely that it could be reinstalled at any other place.

The Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the NFL, Mr P.S. Grewal, when contacted on phone, admitted that the Nangal-based heavy water plant might be dismantled. The Department of Atomic Energy might shift the plant from the Nangal unit of NFL, keeping in view the security considerations. The decision to dismantle the plant was, however, the prerogative of the Department of Atomic Energy and the NFL management had nothing to do with it, he added.

The plant with an installed capacity of 15 mt per annum was set up in Nangal in 1962. The plant was installed here keeping in view ample availability of power and water at the NFL plant. The basic objective of installing the plant was to provide impetus to the atomic energy programme of the country.

The product produced contained purity of about 99.9 per cent, which was the purest in Asia. At present the plant is directly operated and managed by the NFL and the quality of the product is maintained by the Department of Atomic Energy.

Meanwhile, the recognised union of the NFL, Nangal Khad Factory Mazdoor Dal, has opposed the dismantling of the Nangal-based heavy water plant. 

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |