Bhubaneswar, July 10: In another step towards expediting employment intensive projects in construction and infrastructure sector, Government has started streamlining the minor mineral operations in the State.
Reviewing the progress made so far in a high level meeting held in Lokseva Bhawan Conference hall recently, Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy directed the revenue and disaster management department to identify and operationalize the new sairat sources for filling the gap between ‘demand and supply’ of minor minerals.
Tripathy said,” Enhancement of legally operational sources will have triple benefit of ensuring supply of material for construction sector which is quite labour intensive, containing the theft of minor minerals and increasing the collection of revenue”.
Principal Secretary Revenue & Disaster Management Bishnupada Sethi appraised that as per earlier decisions of Government, the Directorate of Minor Minerals have been made functional within a very short period of time. Within last couple of months 1129 new sairat sources have been identified in different districts. With this, the total number of minor mineral sairats have increased to 4965.
The Chief Secretary further directed to identify sand rich river beds on banks of the major rivers like Mahanadi, Baitarani, Bramhani, Rusikulya, Subarnarekha in cooperation with the department of Water Resources, Forest & Environment; and, prepare scientific plans for sand mining. It was decided to allow inter-state transportation of sands through competitive bidding process.
Tripathy further directed to strengthen the enforcement activities for checking the theft of minor minerals. The Collectors and Police Superintendents were directed to utilize the services of Odisha Industrial Security Force (OISF) and sharpen the squad activities for containment of illegal lifting of the minerals. He also directed to deal very strongly against the illegal minors and transporters.
Director Minor Minerals Bubhuti Bhusan Das appraised that “revenue to the tune of around Rs.37.11 cr has been collected during the months of April and May this fiscal from minor minerals. The process for preparation of mining plan, availing of environmental clearance and timely completion of bidding process for another 1469 sairats have been brought to an advanced stage”. Chief Secretary directed to scale up annual revenue generation to Rs.1000 cr from minor minerals.