Depertments asked to cooperate for OMC mining operations - The New Indian Express

Depertments asked to cooperate for OMC mining operations

Published: 22nd November 2012 12:04 PM

Last Updated: 22nd November 2012 12:04 PM

As a majority of mines leased out to the State-run Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) are not working due to delay in obtaining statutory clearance, the State Government on Wednesday directed concerned departments to extend full cooperation to the corporation for operationalisation of the mines.

A review of the status of the mines leased out to OMC said that only two of the 13 chromite mines of OMC are functional . Similar is the situation of the iron ore and manganese mines. Of the 11 iron ore mines, only two are functional. All the five manganese mines leased out to OMC are yet to be operationalised. Two of the four iron ore and manganese mines of the state PSU is functional and the other two remain idle.

Chief Secretary Bijay Patnaik on Wednesday reviewed the status of the OMC mines at a high-level meeting here. The meeting was informed that most of the mines could not be made functional due to lack of forest clearance.

Mooting the idea for creating land banks for compensatory afforestation programme, Patnaik asked the Forest Department to prepare compensatory afforestation plan in time to avoid delay in obtaining forest clearance for different mining projects. He asked the district collectors,   particularly those of Kalahandi and Balangir districts, and tahasildars to identify non-forest land for compensatory afforestation programme.

The issues relating to compensatory afforestation and settlement of claims under Forest Rights Act in case of forest diversion proposals were discussed at the meeting. Present status of forest clearances against Gandhamardan-A mines in Keonjhar forest division, South Kaliapani chromite mines in Dhenkanal forest division, Sukrangi chromite mines in Cuttack division, Baliparbat in Daitari extension area allotted to OMC was reviewed.

The Revenue and Disaster Management, Forest and Environment and Steel and Mines departments were asked to issue necessary instructions to their field-level officials to expedite the different proposals for clearances of OMC mines.

It has also decided that the committee on eco-sensitive zone constituted by State Government will expeditiously examine the issues relating to working of mines in eco-sensitive areas and places within one kilometer distance from the sanctuary boundary. The committee has been advised to complete the task within a month.

Secretaries of Revenue and Disaster Management, Forest and Environment, Steel and Mines and Law departments, chairman and managing director of OMC and other senior officers of forest departments attended the meeting.

No Value Addition Facility, No Renewal of Lease: Govt

Bhubaneswar: The State Government has apparently decided not to renew the mining lease of lessees having no facility for value addition of minerals.  A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary BK Patnaik on Wednesday reviewed the status of mines pending for second and subsequent renewal of mining lease.

Official sources said the meeting decided to issue notices to more than 80 mines, a majority of them are iron ore mines, either having no value addition facility or keeping the mines idle to show cause as to why their leases will not be cancelled.

Steel and Mines Secretary Rajesh Verma reportedly told the meeting about shortage of raw materials due to closure of a large number of mines in the wake of the multi-crore mining scam.

The Chief Secretary reportedly advised the department to initiate measures to increase production of minerals particularly iron ore, chromite and manganese from the mines of the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).

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