Bhubaneswar, Jun 5 UNI | 2 months ago

The Society of Geoscientists and Allied Technologists(SGAT), an organisation working for mineral development in Odisha, today urged the state government to formulate a mineral policy for sustainable mineral development in the state.

SGAT Advisor B C Mohanty told mediapersons after an interactive meet on mineral development that the policy should be framed soon spelling out the approach during the next five years.

Mr Mohanty said though Odisha is an important mineral bearing and producing state with rich deposits of iron ore, bauxite, manganese, chromite, limestone, graphite but still it has not yet framed a policy for mineral development.

The policy was needed as despite vast resources, the mineral development activities in the state were at a crossroad.

SGAT, he said, was assisting the state government to formulate the policy and prepare a vision document for mineral development 2020.

Mr Mohanty said Odisha could become a leading state and achieve high economic growth through proper development of mineral resources if the issues affecting the mines were properly and timely addressed.

He said in the proposed policy there should be an investment friendly provision and environment to attract domestic and foreign investors to invest for exploration and exploitation.

The SGPT advisor said certain conditions in the 2012 resolution of the Odisha government for mineral development should be dropped. The resolution which considered captive mining as an important ingredient of mineral development had already been challenged in the High Court and was subjudice.

Mr Mohanty said the term mineral development should be properly interpreted.

The stipulations in the resolution for limiting the area to the captive requirement of 30 years, exclude the tribal land from mining areas and was not possible nor practiable and should be done away in the interest of mineral development.

He said out of 26 iron ore and manganese mines closed on the orders of the Supreme Court, eight have resumed operations after the state government renewed their licenses as per the section 8 (3) of the MMDR Act 1957.

Mr Mohanty demanded the government to renew the licenses of the rest 18 leases as they have necessary statutory clearances.

He said as many as 13,790 minerals concession applications were pending with the state government for disposal and urged the authorities to initiate steps to make all idle leases opertional at the earliest.

(Posted on 06-06-2014)