Orissa irons out disputes with Railways on ore transport

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The Orissa government which is making all-out efforts to curb illegal mining activities in the state, claimed to have ironed out all issues with the Railways pertaining to transportation of illegally mined ores.

“All issues related to ore transport have been sorted out with the Railways and we informed this to the Union mines ministry at the meeting of the Central empowered cum coordination committee held recently. We also informed at the meeting that the state government is introducing ERP solutions in the mining sector to monitor issue of transport permits, collection of royalty and movement of minerals. This process will first begin with three minerals- iron ore, manganese and chromite”, a top official source told Business Standard.

There are also common issues related to ore transport across Jharkhand and Orissa and so it has been decided that these states would have a representative from each other's state in their State Empowered Committees (SECs).

It may be noted that on the issue of transport of illegally mined ore, the Union mines ministry had asked the Orissa government to settle all outstanding issues with the Railways.

The Railways had pointed out that the state government is continuing to issue transport permits per truck and not per rake which is making it difficult to monitor the permits. Railways had sought that transport permits should be issued per rake with truck numbers mentioned in the permit.

The Railways had also alleged that the state government has not posted its officials to man the check points in the railway sidings at Jaruli, Banspani and Barbil where the Railways have put cabins for checking transport permits.

The state steel & mines department which has already connected its 14 circle mining offices was aiming to man the check gates 24x7 under the Project Management Unit (PMU).

The PMU will first be made operational at the Joda mining circle from June 1 and the remaining mining areas by the end of June.

The state agencies that will play a key role in the implementation of the unit are Orissa Computer Application Centre (OCAC) and Orissa Remote Sensing Applications Centre (ORSAC). Idcol Software has been assigned the responsibility to develop software for the project. The project involves a cost of Rs 3.5 crore to be spent over 12 months.

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