OST Business Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 4:
To reduce the traffic on roads causing numerous hazards to the common people, the Odisha government plans to make greater use of the railways for transport of minerals and create the necessary infrastructure to achieve the goal.
Reviewing monitoring of mining activities in the State level Task Force meeting held in the secretariat conference hall today, Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra stressed the transport of minerals through railway and said it will reduce the traffic load on roads, which causes numerous hazards for common people.
Considering the allegation of miners regarding high transport cost charged by transporters in Odisha, the Chief Secretary asked the transport department to strictly implement the approved district specific rates for transport of minerals by trucks. The meeting resolved to take exemplary penal action against violators on this account.
The meeting discussed problems relating to unloading of trucks in Paradeep Port and the long queue of stranded trucks on national highways often causing problems for movement of other traffic.
Port authorities present at the meeting said that they can unload 1200 to 1500 trucks per day. Mohapatra asked the PPT chairman and Director Mines to jointly look into the actual loading of trucks from originating points and unloading capacity of the port and suggest measures to resolve the problem. They have been asked to submit their report within two weeks.
The transport authorities were advised to create off-road transit points for trucks at strategic locations to reduce the clutter of trucks on the roads which create obstacles for movement of passenger vehicles.
Mohapatra advised the Mining department to make use of Google Arch for monitoring whether actual mining is being done within specified boundaries. Since the mine boundaries have been digitized, monitoring can be done through remote sensing mechanism. The data availed from remote sensing can be inspected through actual field verification to determine the extent of violation, if any, he said.
Revenue collection from the mining sector was to the tune of Rs 3894 Cr up to December, 2013 against Rs.3803 crore for the corresponding period during 2012, the meeting revealed. Similarly, dispatch of minerals up to December, 2013 has been 40.58 MT against a dispatch of 36.81 MT for the corresponding period during last year.
“Regular monitoring of dispatch and control of illegal mining has resulted in more dispatch and less exploitation of natural resources,” said the chief secretary during the review of mining activities in the state.