Plea to allow resumption of mines in State
Karnataka Iron and Steel Manufacturers’ Association has requested the Ministry of Steel to expedite the process of resumption of operation of ‘A’ and ‘A1’ category mines in the State.
In a memorandum to the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Steel, New Delhi, Association President Vinod Nowal said the ministry has to convene a meeting of all concerned - Karnataka government, Indian Bureau of Mines, Monitoring Committee etc, to discuss the ways of resumption of ‘A’ category mines.
The Centre should also focus on taking up the early disposal of cases with respect to Category ‘A1’ mines in Supreme Court. In addition, the Centre should make Karnataka form a committee immediately and convene a meeting of lease-holders of ‘B’ category mines to clarify the related issues and to expedite resumption of the mining operations at the earliest.
The Association said that NMDC should be directed to increase production as ordered by Supreme Court and also appoint adequate forest officials for smooth movement of iron ore.
The steel industry in the State has been facing an unprecedented shortage of iron ore following the ban on iron ore mining imposed by the court.
The total steel capacity set up in and around the State solely relying on the source of iron ore from Karnataka is about 25 pc of the total steel production in India. The total iron ore requirement of the industry in the State is around 33 million tonnes per annum.
Subsequent to the the court direction to auction the available stocks, till date around 26 million tonnes have been sold and an estimated one million tonne stock is available for auctioning.
The iron ore being auctioned from stockpiles is of very inferior quality and most of the steel plants can’t process it. Till date more than 37 plants have been closed down and others are running at lower capacity, the Association said.