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‘Mining sector victim of govt apathy and public misconceptions’

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OST Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 2:

Speakers at a function organised on the occasion of the Indian Mining Day here Friday expressed grave concern over the future of the mining sector due to government apathy and misconception among the general public.

Addressing the event, jointly organized by the Society of Geoscientists and Allied Technologists (SGAT) and Mining Engineers’ Association of India, SGAT President Dr SK Sarangi said mining is an activity critical to the economic growth of the country and it cannot be stopped.

Speaking on the theme ‘Save mining, save the country’Prof SP Bannerjee, former Director-in-Charge of the Dhanbad-based Indian School of Mining, spoke on the evolution of the mineral policies, performance of various sectors of the mining industry and the relationship of the mining industry with other stakeholders in mining.

He advised the mining engineers and earth scientists to pay heed to the needs for the protection of environment, forests and the community near the mining areas.

Many speakers were critical of the bulky and complicated government processes that have put the law-abiding miners in a situation which they find extremely difficult to negotiate

The role of some NGOs with a’hidden agenda’ also came up for sharp criticism from speakers who asked the media to probe and expose these elements ‘in the larger public interest’.

Lack of activity is discouraging bright students to study mining and allied subjects which is reflected in India producing only a few hundred mining engineers per year while China produces them in thousands, the speakers pointed out.|

During interactive session, the topic of the role of mining professionals in causing the present crisis in the mining sector came up for discussion.