Dedicated granite clusters in Karnataka soon: CM

Dedicated granite clusters in Karnataka soon: CM

The government will create dedicated granite clusters across the State in order to provide a boost to the granite industry in Karnataka, said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

He was speaking after inaugurating the 11th International Granites and Stone Fair - Stona Exhibition-2014, here on Wednesday. Siddaramaiah said the clusters would come up in Kanakapura, Magadi, Koppal, Tumkur and Chikkaballapur, among others. Besides, a granite park will be developed in Chamarajanagar. A dedicated training and research centre at a cost of Rs 35 crore will be set up for the welfare of the industry.

Reacting to the industry’s request to give mining and quarrying permission in many areas, including some green spaces in the State, Siddaramaiah said the government was considering demarking dedicated granite and mining areas like dedicated forest areas. He also mentioned that granite and other stone industries can be termed a green product industry, but they should follow all scientific norms and Ministry of Environment and Forests guidelines. 

The chief minister urged the granite industry to pay timely royalty to the Mines and Geology department. The government is also willing to issue long-term leases of mining lands. He said Karnataka had 9,750 million cubic metres of granite deposits — the largest in India. Karnataka is best known for black granite and there are 1,700 small and medium units in Karnataka. Today, the granite industry sees a business of Rs 9,000 crore. 

J B Surana, president, All India Granites and Stone Association, said that 25 per cent of India’s granite comes from Karnataka. He pointed that the retrograde State government policies were creating a setback. The stoppage of stone quarrying around forest areas and green spaces was affecting business and requested the government to create mining and mineral zones which are not cleared in forest areas.

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