ROURKELA: UNION Minister for Tribal Affairs and Sundargarh Lok Sabha member Jual Oram on Wednesday said decks have been cleared for reopening of the defunct dolomite and limestone mines of SAIL at Purunapani under Birmitrapur Assembly segment.
Jual thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Steel & Mines N S Tomar for their initiatives leading to extension of lease period of Purunapani mines.
Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia said he signed the lease deed agreement of Purunapani mines on Tuesday. Poonia said after obtaining necessary clearance from the Mining and Forest & Environment Departments, SAIL can start operation.
On SAIL’s decade-old proposal to set up a joint venture (JV) cement plant using the Purunapani mines, Jual said the issue is also under consideration. Sources said considering the Modi Government’s thrust on infrastructure projects and resultant requirement of cement, there should not be further delay in transforming the JV cement plant dream into a reality.
The Purunapani mines was closed in February, 2003, dealing a severe blow to the economy and employment in Birmitrapur Assembly segment. Economy of Birmitrapur town and nearby areas has virtually collapsed with the cash-starved PSU mining company Bisra Stone Lime Company Ltd (BSLC) at Birmitrapur being on the verge of closure.
Jual claimed the Union Ministry of Steel & Mines is also working on exploring ways to bail out the BSLC and make it a financially feasible mining company. On May 29, this paper had reported the failure of the Union Ministry of Steel & Mines to propel economic projects in Sundargarh district.