Odisha Puts Streamlining Of Minor Minerals On Fast Track

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Bhubaneswar: In another step toward implementation of the 5Ts framework, organised quarry and supply of minor minerals for meeting the growing demand is put on the fast track. This was known from the recent review taken by Odisha Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy through the digital mode from Lok Seva Bhawan Conference hall.

A district-wise review about the implementation of the earlier orders of Chief Secretary regarding the identification of new minor mineral sources showed that by July end of this year, a total of 4693 sources were identified in all 30 districts of the State. Principal Secretary Revenue & Disaster management Bishnupada Sethi appraised that among all the districts, Ganjam recorded the highest number of 643 minor mineral sources. Eight districts namely Bolangir, Balasore, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj, and Sundargarh identified more than 200 sources each. Besides, eleven districts identified more than 100 sources each. Director Minor Minerals Bibhuti Bhusan Das said, “by the 1st week of August 2020 a total number of 1457 sources were auctioned and operationalised”. After the final reconciliation of accounts, it was seen that the revenue collection from minor minerals during 2019-20 also increased to Rs. 680.60 cr against last year’s collection of Rs.303.47 cr.

While complementing efforts of the district administration in achieving the progress even against adversities of the pandemic, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy directed to “focus on process reengineering of the excavation and transportation of minor minerals in the State through the adoption of technology”. Department was asked to develop “ i-4MS software for online monitoring of the minor minerals along the lines of i-3MS portal of Steel & Mines department”. Tripathy said, “We have to meet the growing demand of the minor minerals by reengineering the process and making it compliant to ease of doing business”. He added, “The minor mineral has the potential of adding Rs.2000 cr per annum to State’s own revenue”. Besides, its assured supply would expedite the projects in construction and infrastructure laying sectors.

Further, the Chief Secretary directed Directorate of Geology to expedite the process of according approval to the mining plans submitted by Tehsildars. The State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) was also asked to expedite the issue environmental clearances within a specified time period. The department of Revenue and Disaster Management was asked to strengthen the Directorate of minor minerals with necessary manpower and technology support. The Directorate of Geology and SEIAA were asked to make use of the satellite data repository created by Odisha State Application Center (ORSAC) in the clearing of the mining proposals.

The Additional District Magistrate (Revenue) of all the districts were directed to have close monitoring of the process and flag issues to the department as felt necessary. Collectors were asked to take a weekly review for expediting approval of the mining plan and grant of EC.

The proposal of sand mining on some major river beds was discussed in the meeting. The field level officers participating through VC appraised that sand mining might regularize the water flow in the river course and would also contain the floodwater. It was decided that the Department of Water Resources in coordination with Revenue & Disaster Management would identity the spots on river beds for sand mining.

Principal Secretary Revenue & Disaster Management Department, Director Mines B.B.Das, Collectors and ADM (Revenue) of different districts along with senior officers from concerned departments participated in the discussions.

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