CEC favours laying railway lines in state to transport iron ore

'K'taka Mining Environment Restoration Corpn can explore prospects'

CEC favours laying railway lines in state to transport iron ore

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee has recommended that Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Corporation (KMERC) can explore laying railway lines in mineral-rich districts of Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumakuru for smooth transport of iron ore.

The CEC in its report submitted to the Supreme Court said that "the railway backbone network is to be developed wherever the potential to exploit mineral resources exists. From this backbone, sub-lines can be taken off to specific mines."

The panel made this recommendation following the Apex Court direction to the CEC to explore the possibility of setting up conveyer belts as well as laying railway lines to transport minerals in ore-rich districts of Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumakuru in Karnataka as part of implementation of comprehensive environment plan. These proposed projects have to be connected to four existing railway sidings and new railway sidings in these districts.

The KMERC is a special purpose vehicle set up by the Karnataka government to implement Comprehensive Environment Plan in Mining Impact Zone (CEPMIZ) in mineral-rich districts after illegal mining activities.

"The KMERC can identify the railway backbone and its techno-economic feasibility in districts Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumakuru. Besides, the privately owned railway sidings at reasonable distance from the rail backbone/subline may be permitted and the state government may facilitate the same," the report said.

Two new railway sublines from Lakshmipura to Dharmapura and existing Sandur railway line to Susheel Nagar are also technically feasible and may be permitted to be executed
by KMERC, the CEC said.

Three railway sidings at Dharmapura, Susheel Nagar and Dhanapura may also be permitted to be executed by KMERC, the panel said.

The panel also said the proposed conveyor system in respect of mining lease holders, if technically and financially feasible, the lessee may install and operate the conveyor system as recommended in respect of each of the mine at their own cost within a period of 24 months where railway sidings are readily available and within 36 months where new railway sidings are proposed to be constructed.

The main benefits of using conveyor system is prevention of dust becoming airborne and   will result in clean environment. Besides, this will also improve the health of local population. There will be no impact of mining on flora and fauna because of dust, the report said.



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