'99 pc granite deposits in India unexplored'

Central govt amending rules to spur growth, says top official

'99 pc granite deposits in India unexplored'

The Union Ministry of Mines is amending the Granite Conservation and Development Rules, 1999, to address the problems faced by the granite industry and boost its growth.

Bringing changes in the rules will address most of the problems faced by the granite industry, said Balvender Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Mines.

He was delivering the keynote address at the 12th International Granite and Stone Fair STONA-2016, a four-day stone exhibition which began here on Wednesday. The official said there were huge granite deposits in India, especially in Karnataka, Rajasthan and Odisha, but 99 per cent of them remain unexplored.

The ministry is considering giving granite miners supplementary lease to dump waste materials. It is already in the process of allotting such leases to ore mines in Goa where dumping has become a major problem, Kumar said.

On giving environmental clearance while allotting the mining lease, he said that the ministry had made changes that empower the deputy commissioners of respective districts to issue the environmental clearance certificate if the mining lease area was less than five hectares.
On restrictions of transporting heavy granite blocks, he assured the granite firms that he would recommend to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to make changes to the Motor Vehicles Act to allow transport of heavy granite blocks.

Policy changes promised

On the occasion, Minister of State for Mines and Geology Vinay Kulkarni assured the granite industrialists of his support in resolving their problems, and sought the help of Union Ministry of Mines in making policy changes to boost the growth of granite industry in Karnataka.

Granite sculpture on ‘Make in India’

A granite sculpture ‘Make in India’, measuring 10 feet in length, 6.3 feet in height, 4.5 feet in width and weighing 10 tonnes, was unveiled by Minister of State for Mines and Geology Vinay Kulkarni. The sculpture was made of granite by artists from Tamil Nadu. A 8-foot-tall statue of former president APJ Abdul Kalam, also made of granite, drew a large crowd.

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