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Closure of Mines Hits Metal Industries

Of 45 sponge-iron plants, 4 have been closed and the rest are running at 30 to 40 pc of rated capacity

Published: 23rd February 2015 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2015 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

ROURKELA: Stagnation in mining operations in Koida mining circle has hit the metal-based private industries hard in Sundargarh district even as mining revenue is likely to fall far short of target in 2014-15.

Industry sources said small and medium industries are apprehensive of their future after the total closure of Kuanrmunda-based Adhunik Metaliks Ltd (AML), a 0.5 MTPA capacity mini-steel plant having establishment cost of above `3,000 crore. Out of 45 sponge-iron plants, at least four have fully closed, while the rest are running at 30 to 40 per cent of rated capacity. Out of total 55 induction plants, 15 to 20 have faced total closure while about a dozen of re-rolling mills are also struggling for survival.

closer.JPGSources said of the total 70 mines, 14 are in operation. Majority of them were closed in 2011 when the MB Shah Commission started inquiry into illegal mining. Then the State Government had ordered closures of those mines which were short of meeting technical criterion. Since then, no sincere efforts have been made to reopen the mines.

Koida-based Deputy Director of Mines (DDM) Mihir Senapati said against the revenue target of `900 crore for Koida area, `590 crore has been collected till now. With 2014-15 financial year coming to an end, they hope to collect `110 crore more.

Worried over the dip in revenue collection, a mining officer said instead of depending only on iron ore, the State Government should auction available graphite, bauxite, chrome and other mineral bearing mines. Local industrialists said after the Central ordinance on mining, they were hoping that the mines would reopen but nothing happened. Odisha Government, which is at loggerheads with the Centre over the mining ordinance, does not seem keen on implementing its provisions, they said.

Rourkela Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) president Subrata Patnaik said they had apprised the State Government about the situation several times. But the Government has not taken any decision and as a result, workers engaged in mining and industrial sectors have been rendered jobless and local economy has taken a beating.



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