ROURKELA: With the mining operations continuing to be in doldrums in Koida Mining Circle (KMC) of Sundargarh district, the proposed expansion of Kamanda Steel Plant (KSP) of Rungta Mines Ltd (RML) is all set to boost the dipping economy and employment.
A public hearing on environment impact over the expansion proposal was conducted by the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) at Kamanda village on Wednesday. Presided over by Rourkela ADM Monisha Banerjee, it was attended by Bonai Sub-collector Swedha Dev Singh, OSPCB Regional Officer HN Nayak, RML joint vice-president (HR) Ramu Agarwal and senior general manager (commercial) Pranoy Deo.
Nayak informed that the public hearing was meant to allow expansion of the KSP from 0.60 Million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) to 0.75 MTPA. While majority of the villagers supported the expansion plan, a few people were against linking it to land issues.
Deo, on behalf of KSP, answered queries of the villagers and claimed that 53 persons spoke at the hearing and 50 of them favoured the plan.
As per the executive summary submitted to the State Government, the company intends to pump in fresh investment of `1,518.15 crore to raise KSP’s total investment value to `2,825.68 crore. The future plans for KSP include setting up a beneficiation plant, pelletisation plant, DRI plant, mini-blast furnace, coke oven, steel melting shop, billet slab caster, flat & round wire rod and structural mill, captive power plant and ferro alloys plant. The KSP now produces 0.20 MTPA steel and 40 MW power with direct employee strength of 395 and about 800 indirect employments.
Koida Deputy Director of Mines (DDM) Salil Behera said in 2016-17, the mining royalty revenue dipped to `554 crore against the target of `1,000 crore. He said the RML has own iron ore mines at Oraghat and Sanindpur areas of Koida and expansion of RML’s mineral-based KSP would simultaneously push mineral consumption and boost local economy and employment.