ROURKELA: Hit by prolonged closure of mines at Koida mining area of Sundargarh district, the revenue from the area has dropped to `725 crores against the target of `900 crores for 2013-14 fiscal.
Out of 70 iron and manganese mines in the area, only 17 mines are in operation and till middle of May, 10 more mines were made operational. But, on the order of the Supreme Court on May 16, two mines of SAIL, one mine of OMC and 11 private sector mines were closed on technical grounds. After the intervention of State Government, the mines of SAIL and OMC started functioning within 15 days of the order.
In fact, ahead of the visit of the members of MB Shah Commission on illegal mining, majority of the mines were closed on technical grounds by the Steel and Mines Department from end of 2011. Since then, mines continue to be closed seriously affecting production of iron ore.
However, during a visit to the Steel City on Saturday, Minister of State (Ind) for Steel and Mines Prafulla Kumar Mallik reviewed the functioning of the Mining Department and was apprised of the problems faced by the local mining office and mining industries. Later, at a meeting organised by Rourkela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), Mallik assured the local mining industries that a meeting will be held at Bhubaneswar on July 19 where officials of departments concerned will be present to resolve the issues affecting the local industries and mining sector.
Admitting the mining problems, Koida Deputy Director of Mines (DDM) Mihir Senapati said the mining revenue from Koida was not up to the mark in 2013-14 and around `725 crores could be collected against the target of `900 crore.
Departmental sources confided that the cap on sale of iron ore at Koida could be revised to 15 million tonnes per annum from 13 million tonnes with the provision of reserving 50 per cent for consumption of Odisha-based industries.