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Foundaries Haora

Foundaries Haora

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Published by Shrikrishna Kotkar

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Published by: Shrikrishna Kotkar on Jun 23, 2011
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original Study Of The Foundries In HaoraCase Study Of The Foundries In HaoraCase Study Of The Foundries In HaoraCase Study Of The Foundries In HaoraCase Study Of The Foundries In Haora
(a suburb of Kolkata) had been in the newsin India for the air pollution that they caused. Since the pollution fromfoundries was being discussed nationally, the purpose of the studywas to see if principles of Industrial Ecology could be helpful in finding a solutionto the problem. Many scientists had worked on new technologies to minimizepollution and many agencies, including international agencies, had funded researchprojects in the region. A number of studies had also been done on increasing theenergy efficiency in the industry.The task of carrying out an Industrial Ecology Study of the foundries was verydifferent from the typical regional approach such as in Tirupur. The Haora studywas restricted to one type of industry and one where the processes followed bythe different units in the industry were very similar. Hence a typical waste exchangeprogram was not viable. Since all the units followed very similar processes, oneoption was to look for recycling possibilities within each industrial unit. The secondoption was to look for sharing resources in the industry with a view to betterefficiency.In the absence of any clear working format, it was decided to follow the methoddeveloped for the Tirupur study, which was to prepare a detailed fact file on theregion and to understand the flow of resources within each unit and in the clusteras a whole. File on the RegionFact File on the RegionFact File on the RegionFact File on the RegionFact File on the Region RegionThe RegionThe RegionThe RegionThe Region
Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta), the capital of the state of West Bengal,was once the seat of the British Empire in India. It is the major and most important
city in the eastern region of India. Since it was an important port, it was also amajor commercial center of India. Most of the international trade of the easternregion of India passes through Kolkata. The eastern region (comprising the statesof West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and the northeastern states) is the most mineral-richregion of the country. Among other minerals, the region accounts for most of thecountry’s production of coal, which is the second-most predominant fuel used inIndia (after firewood), and iron ore. West Bengal became the site for many largeengineering industries during the British rule in India and consequently, theengineering industry here is very well developed.
India has large reserves of coal, which is a major energy source. The quality of the coaldeposits is mostly poor and the ash content is often higher than 40%. The reserves aremainly in the eastern state of Bihar, with some smaller deposits in neighboring MadhyaPradesh and the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.
Haora town, on the other side of the river Hugli from the metropolitan area of Kolkata, became a major industrial center. The engineering labor here is knownto be extremely skilled and inexpensive. However, over the last three decades,Kolkata for various reasons has lost its predominant position as an economic centerin India. The first reason has been the very militant trade unions, who in the latesixties and early seventies scared the industries out of West Bengal. The secondreason was the endemic power shortages that plagued the region for many years.However, in the last few years, the labor situation and the power situation have both improved dramatically.
Except in a few states, the power generation is far from adequate and power shortagesare common in most parts of the country. Frequent blackouts are common. Many areasget power only a few hours in a day. Business establishments, who can afford it, havestand-by power generation systems of their own.
The result of this economic decline in the region has been that many industries, like the foundry industry, which supplied goods and services to the other largeindustrial units, suffered.
India’s coal reservesPower supply in India 
Haora is a very overcrowded town with narrow streets and literally thousands of industrial units humming with activity. The air is extremely polluted with smokefrom homes, thousands of small factories and thousands of vehicles on the roads.The foundry industry in Haora is part of this industrial activity. It may be mentionedthat all the different industry groups are interdependent. The foundries oftenneed the small engineering units, which help in finishing the castings producedin the foundries. FoundriesThe FoundriesThe FoundriesThe FoundriesThe Foundries
In its essential form, in a foundry, the metal ingots are melted and poured intomoulds to take a desired shape. Some foundries melt pig iron and scrap iron, someothers steel and steel scrap. The non-ferrous foundries melt non-ferrous metals like copper. Haora is home to all types of foundries. There are over 200 registeredcast iron foundries, in addition to an estimated 300 unregistered ones. Togetherthey account for a production of nearly 600,000 tonnes of cast iron annually. Inaddition, there are innumerable non-ferrous foundries, which are mostly cottagescale units. It is difficult to even attempt an estimation of the production in thesenon-ferrous foundries. There are also a few steel foundries, but the units are moreorganized. All the steel foundries use electrical energy for melting the metal. A few cast ironfoundries, particularly the large and organized ones, use electrical energy. However,most of the smaller cast iron foundries as well as the non-ferrous foundries usecoke for melting. The problem associated with pollution in processes usingelectrical energy is relatively very less. However, the units using coke causeconsiderable air pollution. The level of Suspended Particulate Matter(SPM) in theair is very high as well as the emissions of other gases such as sulfur dioxide,typical problems associated with combustion of coke.The details of the process of producing castings are given in Annex 6.1. Pollution ProblemThe Pollution ProblemThe Pollution ProblemThe Pollution ProblemThe Pollution Problem
 Although foundries have existed in this region for decades, the pollution problemis believed to have come into focus due to developments in the city of Agra (about2,000 km north-west of Kolkata), the site of the famous Taj Mahal. There has beena great deal of concern in the last few years, about the danger posed to the

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