I recently had a chat with Iron-Man, he was filling coal in his equipment preparing the fire for his day long ironing job.
He was removing the ashes from previous day left over coal.
“What do you use to start fire in coal, is it petrol?” I asked to know how he starts fire every day.
“No. I use Kerosene” he replied. The petrol price is going up every day, so he would have thought it would be wise not to use petrol.
I saw he had a bag full of coal from which he was stacking up a layer of new coal above the burning coal
சீமைக்கருவேலை மரம் – Prosopis juliflora is a tree (invasive weed) which we can see in most part of Tamil Nadu. The trees with many thorns cannot be used for many purpose but they are used as source for coal and as cooking fuel where people don’t have access to other mode of fuel.
“Is it coal from சீமைக்கருவேலை tree?”
“Yes, I get that from the coal vendor. There is a coal market available where a coal dealer gets different variety of coal, and we can choose one”
“So how much it cost?” I asked him curious to know the price of coal
“This coal is Rs.40 a kilo. There is one more coal with better quality, which is Rs 80 a kilo. It gives more heat and will last long before ashes”
So the power source for his workshop is coal, and it comes from Prosopis juliflora tree.
Prosopis juliflora have deep roots which can go many meters below the ground to get the water. They swallow most of the waters, depleting the water table. There was a sudden awakening in the political community to cut-down all the Prosopis juliflora trees in Tamil Nadu as the state is undergoing sever water shortage.
“I heard Tamil Nadu government is taking steps to cut down the Prosopis juliflora. Do you still manage to get the coal out of it?” I asked as this government regulation would have increased the power cost of his workshop
“No. We can still get the coal, as Andhra Pradesh trees are available”