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ISO pat for UCIL mining hub

Jamshedpur, Jan. 25: Public sector unit Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) has added two feathers in its cap.

First, UCIL township at Narwapahar in Jadugora, around 26km from the steel city, has become the only mining township in the country to get ISO 14001:2004 accreditation.

Second, the company under the Department of Atomic Energy has also bagged Golden Peacock Awards instituted by the Institute of Directors (India) in 1991.

The award — regarded worldwide as a benchmark of corporate excellence — was received by chairman and managing director (CMD) of UCIL Diwakar Acharya in Bangalore on January 17.

On the other hand, the ISO certificate was couriered to UCIL, the only company to extract uranium in the country, this month. The auditing of the mining township was completed in October 2013.

Today, Acharya said the ISO accreditation assumes significance in the light of the general perception that townships close to mines are affected by pollution and don’t offer a healthy environment.

“Narwapahar is the only mining township in India to get this accreditation,” the CMD added.

ISO 14001:2004 sets the parameterz for an environmental management system. The accreditation is a way of assuring company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved.

The UCIL township was established in early 1980s and has over 1,100 houses with shopping complex, banks, hospitals and other civic amenities sprawled across 123 acres.

“The township has been planned by Calcutta-based Development Consultant Private Limited. It has been set up in a manner that people will not require to use vehicles much, which in turn will check pollution. Besides, we have drinking water, sewerage and drainage and bio-medical waste disposal systems in the township. We also have plans for anaerobic disposal of waste,” said company spokesperson Pinaki Roy.

UCIL’s achievement does not end here. The Golden Peacock Awards is a testimony to the company’s success in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in government category for 2013.

Also, the research and development team of UCIL has received the Engineering Excellence Awards 2013 from Engineering Watch, a prestigious magazine, for developing a technology that makes landlines and wireless phones work in underground mines.

The technology is being used at Narwapahar mine.

“At Narwapahar mine, we have used Wi-Fi system for wireless communication receivers, which will function even after a mishap and help us locate employees and machinery stuck there. This is the only such technology in the country that is being used in any underground mine. It has been introduced as a pilot project at Narwapahar, but gradually it will be used at all seven mines in Jharkhand,” said CMD Acharya.

He also ruled out deploying security forces in the wake of Maoist threat to production at Bagjata mines. Rebels had pasted posters at the site, ordering UCIL to give priority to local people.