SC seeks NMDC, MML reply on plea to raise iron ore production

SC seeks NMDC, MML reply on plea to raise iron ore production

 The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to public sector companies National Mineral Devekopment Corporation (NMDC) and Mysore Minerals Ltd (MML) on a plea seeking enhancement of the overall production of iron ore in Karnataka from the current nine million metric tonnes to 12 million metric tonnes.

A three-judge green bench presided by Justice A K Patnaik sought a response from both the companies after it was pointed out that MML could make good the three million metric tonnes shortfall in production.

The court gave the two companies two weeks’ time to file their reply on the plea made by Karnataka Iron Steel Manufacturers Association.

During the hearing, it was contended that the ceiling of 30 million metric tonnes of iron ore production in Karnataka’s Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga, approved by the apex court in 2013, could not be met due to one reason or the other.

The total production has been presently put at 17 million metric tonnes.

It was also argued that the apex court allowed NMDC to extract 12 million metric tonnes, but it could take out only up to nine million metric tonnes.

 “This shortfall of three million metric tonnes could be met by MML by temporarily allowing equal term of production,” it was contended.

‘Irrational’

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Non Governmental Organisation  Samaj Parivartana Samudaya, submitted that it was totally irrational to demand raising the cap fixed on individual mines, which was determined on the basis of carrying capacity.

Senior advocate Raju Ramachandran, representing State government, submitted that the overall iron ore production was quite short as ‘A’ and ‘B’ category of mines did not start production due to a variety of reasons.

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