Chief Secy Bats For Professional Management Of Minor Mineral Resources

Bhubaneswar: With as many as 1132 new sairats (resources) identified in the last few months, Odisha currently has a total of 4667 sairats minor mineral sources. This was revealed at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy today from the Lokseba Bhawan conference hall through digital mode.

The State has accomplished a 124% increase, Rs 680 crore in absolute figures in revenue generation from minor mineral in the financial year 2019-20, said an official press release.

While complementing the department and field officials for their efforts, the Chief Secretary directed to “evolve the strategy for optimizing sustainable use of the minor minerals”.

The department was advised to professionalize the Directorate of Minor Minerals with public sector approaches for “increasing availability, meeting the market demand, achieving price stability and augmenting of revenue generation”.

Tripathy directed to focus on process re-engineering for tracking the extraction and transportation of minor minerals through the application of i4MS software.

He further advised Additional Chief Secretary Forest & Environment Mona Sharma, present in the meeting to make State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) more efficient with necessary technical and manpower support. SEIAA was also asked to expedite issuing of environmental clearances within specified time period.

Presenting the updates, Revenue and Disaster Management Bishnupada Sethi said, “because of the extensive efforts in the current year, the total number of minor mineral sources, as of today has reached 4667 out of which 1428 sources have already been put to operation”.

Tripathy directed the Collectors to operationalize all potential sources by the end of this month.
With regard to the sources in sand-rich river beds, Sethi apprised the meeting that five large stretches of river sand beds (four in Jajpur and one in Angul district) with an area above 100 acre have been identified for sand mining.

The Chief Secretary asked the Principal Secretary Water Resources Anu Garg, present in the meeting to scientifically identify such sand beds in the major rivers like Mahanadi, Rushikulya, Subarnarekha, Baitarani, Brahmani keeping in view the unabated flow of the watercourse and other environmental issues. The department was advised to complete 1st phase identification in two months.

He further directed to make a district-wise demand-supply gap assessment for monitoring the availability of minor minerals in all the districts. The issues relating to the scope of exploration of minor minerals from royati land were also discussed in the meeting.

Development Commissioner Suresh Chandra Mohapatra, Additional Chief Secretary Forest & Environment Mona Sharma, Principal Secretary Steel & Mines Surendra Kumar, Principal Secretary Finance Ashok Kumar Meena, Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster Management, Secretary Works Krishan Kumar, Director Minor Minerals Bibhuti Bhusan Das along with senior officers from concerned departments participated in the deliberations.