Rice processing units in NCR belt oppose single work-shift order

Nearly 500 rice mills in the NCR are upset over the recent directive to check pollution levels, which allows industrial units to operate for only eight hours a day from Monday to Friday. Claiming that rice processing cannot be stopped midway and cannot be completed in 8 hours, these rice processors claim that their bran-fired units are facing temporary shutdown due to the order. Does matter.

“Around 450 to 500 rice mills have light boiling plants including both basmati and paddy (non-basmati) processing units in the NCR region. About 50 lakh to 60 lakh tonnes of rice are processed in these units. Besides this there are around 25 sugar mills in the region which work round the clock during the sugarcane crushing season,” said Vijay Setia, former president of All India Rice Exporters Association.

He said that “boiling rice is a continuous process that you cannot complete in eight hours”.

Three stages of boiling which includes 10 hours of soaking, 2 hours of steaming and 8 hours of drying, the whole process taking about 20 hours for a batch.

“Shutting down the unit after 8 hours would mean spoiling the entire batch because if we wait 16 hours for the industry to run, fermentation will take place,” Setia said. for 8 hours.

Setia said the order reduced the three-shift industry to one-shift and is not workable.

“Our export commitments will not be met on time and we will not be able to repay the money we have borrowed from banks,” he warned.

Experts say that similar is the case with sugar mills.

“When the juice is in the drying process, we cannot shut down the industry for 16 hours as cooling will spoil the quality of sugar,” Setia said.

He claimed that a study report from the University of Thailand clearly establishes that husk fires cause far less pollution than other fuels that are considered safe and that policy makers are aware of it.

He urged the government to come up with a concrete plan and avoid such blatant reactions.