Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 2:
Despite unfavourable international market conditions, Odisha has been able to increase its steel and iron ore production as compared to previous year, said Odisha Government on Wednesday.
The production numbers were discussed during the performance review of the Steel and Mines department by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat yesterday.
According to a press release issued by the Chief Minister’s office after the meeting, Odisha has been able to increase steel production from 11.5 million tonnes in 2014-15 to 20.38 million tonnes in 2015-16. Similarly, iron ore production has also increased in the state as compared to the past year. While production stood at 53.33 million tonnes in 2014-15, it increased to 80.87 million tonnes in 2016-17.
As a first in the country, an iron ore block has been auctioned in Sundargarh district and the state aims to earn a revenue of Rs 6500 crore from it. The state aims at auctioning another nine coal blocks in 2016-17, said the release.
The Chief Minister asked Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) to work on a strategy to achieve the production target of 20 lakh million tonnes per annum.
Patnaik expressed happiness as Odisha became the first state in the country to enact the unique Odisha District Mineral Foundation Rules, 2015. The District Mineral Foundations have been made functional across all 30 districts and funding worth Rs 543 crore have so far been deposited in these funds, the release added.
It was further revealed in the meeting that Odisha is now a leading state in mineral production and ancillary businesses.
The IT based Integrated Mines and Mineral Management System (i3MS) project implemented by the State Government has been able to set standards in areas such as daily production and transportation and many other states are following this model.
Besides, the State Government is working towards setting up GPS based real-time monitoring of mineral transport vehicles by September this year. This system will be implemented by Odisha Space Application Centre (ORSAC).
The Chief Minister asked the Steel and Mines department officials present in the meeting to work towards implementation of the amendments to ‘Odisha Minor Mineral Concession Rules’ that has recently been approved by the State Government.
It was also announced that the Directorate of Steel would be made functional this month and Odisha Mineral Exploration Corporation (OMEC) would be made functional by July.