The earthquake that devastated the western Indian state of Gujarat on 26 January, is still having severe repercussions for the state’s industries. Salt production has come to a near standstill, and the loss of production since the quake had been estimated at 10 lakh (around one million tonnes).

For major salt producing areas, the Rann of Kutch, Dachigam, Chirai, Bachau and Jamnagar, the production season runs between November and March. This does bring one positive feature however, as while the near 200 production units were largely destroyed, the state’s 72,000 workers were largely saved because they tend to sleep in the open.

It will take at least another month before the workers can return to the production sites, and in economic terms the losses are expected to mount up to 10 crore. In value terms the losses are around 10 crore [1 crore is 10 million] rupees, sources said, adding that it would take at least a month to bring back the panic-stricken workers.