`Banning Ammonium Nitrate may not help`

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 11:12

Nagpur: The government`s proposal to bring the
Ammonium Nitrate (AN) under the Explosives Substance Act to
help the law enforcement agencies track the use and transit of
this chemical used in terror attacks in India, may not help
the government to achieve the purpose, experts in the field
feel.

Against the backdrop of series of blasts in the country
in the recent past, the Centre announced its decision to this
effect and invited suggestions and objections from experts and
public before October 31. However, the substance is also used
as a blasting agent in mining and as a fertiliser in
agriculture.

"It seems, it would be practically impossible for the
industries, bulk and regular users, to carry out their
business considering the government move. Cost of operations
will shoot up, leading to increase in the cost of this basic
ingredient being used by explosive, mining and fertiliser
industries," expert in the field said.

"The basic question is, would the government decision
really be able to curb terrorist activities. Unfortunately the
answer is in the negative," a city-based mining engineer
Satish Kate said.

Kate, who has worked with the Indian Bureau of Mines
said, "Any terror blast requires a small quantity of AN in few
kg. Small quantity is and can be available, in spite of, new
rules. Extracting AN from fertiliser grade containing less
then 45 per cent AN as per suggested rules, shall not be
difficult."

"Ammonium Nitrate itself is not explosive unless it is
mixed with diesel in certain proportion and that the
detonating source is applies. However AN can get blasted by
lightning, fire or short circuits, therefore treating AN on
par with explosives is erroneous and applying the same
provision of the rules for explosives is totally uncalled
for," he added.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 11:12
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