BHUBANESWAR: Minister of State for Steel and Mines Prafulla Kumar Mallik on Friday said in the Assembly that clearance of National Wildlife Board (NWB) is required to reopen the Banguru Chromite ore mines of the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC).
Replying to a question from Pritiranjan Ghadei (BJD), the Minister said no labourer from the chromite mines has been retrenched after it was closed. The labourers have been engaged elsewhere, he said and added that steps are being taken to reopen the closed mines. The clearance from the NWB is necessary as it is close to the Hadagada reserve forest, he said.
In response to supplementaries, the Minister said OMC will be further strengthened to operate mines. Mallik said 35 mines have been leased out to the OMC.
Replying to separate question from Ranendra Pratap Swain (BJD), he said a stock of 41.52 lakh tonne iron ore is lying at OMC Gandhamardhan mines. Tenders have been floated regularly for disposal of the stock, he added. Since the accumulated stock is very high, production has been regulated and reduced from time to time, he said.
Mallik said due to local issues like law and order, conflict among truck owner’s associations and traffic jam at Paradip port, the sale of iron ore fines has been affected.