Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Rourkela, Aug 31:
Batting for reopening of closed mines in Odisha, Union minister of state for Steel and Mines Vishnu Deo Sai has said the closure of mines for long periods hits the lives and livelihood of the large number of people employed in them.
“Mining and steel industry is the backbone of Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. It is a vital industry for the three neighbours,” said Sai while addressing a gathering at Rourkela Chamber of Commerce and Industries (RCCI) here on Saturday.
The minister said around 80 percent mines and major steel industries are located in these three states and felt that development in these states was only possible through industrialization.
“Mining provides employment to a large section of people. Closed mines in the state should open soon. Mines should not remain closed for long time. I feel the government should revisit the decision and reopen closed mines in the state,” Sai said.
To drive his point home, the minister referred to his visit to Bisra Lime Stone (BSL) Company at Biramitrapur near here and said; “I saw that the company, which was once a flourishing one, is now in dire straits. Something should be done to bring it back on track.”
Highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, the Union minister said: “Modiji wants to build a nation and just does not want to rule it.”
The minister was handed over a memorandum by the RCCI highlighting some of the major problems being faced by the industrialists in the region.
The minister was on a two-day visit to Rourkela and left for Chhattisgarh after winding up his visit on Saturday evening.