Posts filed under ‘Industries and mineral resources’

Rail corridor in Jharsuguda district for evacuation of coal

Following is a report from the BS:

India is set to commission the first of its three ambitious inter-state rail corridor projects dedicated to coal evacuation in the Naxal-affected Jharsuguda district in Odisha in a little over a year. The project is part of a bigger, though much-delayed plan to invest Rs 7,000 crore in the three rail lines to free 300 million tonnes (mt) of coal supply, locked due to logistical constraints across three states.

The Cabinet Committee on Investment (CCI) has instructed the coal and the rail ministries to work with the Naveen Patnaik-led government to commission the Ib Valley corridor in Odisha first by December 2014, a senior official close to the development told Business Standard. “Both, land and forest clearances are underway for the Jharsuguda-Barpalli line. A special team under the Project Monitoring Group of the CCI is monitoring the lines now,” he said.

The 53-km corridor will help state-owned miner Coal India Ltd (CIL) scale production potential by an additional 132 mt a year. Only 15 per cent of this is utilised in the absence of evacuation facility. The total cost of setting up the three projects has escalated from Rs 2,000 crore when they were initially planned before the beginning of the Eleventh Plan period in 2007 to Rs 7,000 crore now.

The official also added the next of the three corridors to become a reality would be the 93-km Tori-Shivpur-Kathautia line connecting North Karanpura coalfield in Jharkhand, another Naxal-affected state. All the necessary clearances for the project are already in place now, after a series of meetings taken by the Railway Board Chairman with the state chief secretaries and the central ministries. The rail line is being set up at an estimated cost of Rs 1,095 crore and would help move 127 mt of coal annually out of the coalfields.

The third project, the longest of the three, would be a 180-kilometre stretch connecting the eastern and the western regions of the Mand-Raigarh coalfield in Chhattisgarh. The Bhupdeopur-Korba-Dharamjai corridor would free up production potential of 40 MT per annum for CIL. The miner would contribute Rs 2,880 crore of the overall project cost of Rs 4,500 crore while the rest would come from Indian railway arm IRCON and the state government.

November 4, 2013 at 1:46 am Leave a comment

Lower Suktel project and displacement

Following report is from the Sambad:

LB

December 8, 2012 at 8:10 pm Leave a comment

Quality of air in the Jharsuguda and Sambalpur area is highly polluted: National Environmental Engineering Research Institution

Following report is from TOI:

BHUBANESWAR: The National Environmental Engineering Research Institution (NEERI), which undertook the ‘carrying capacity’ survey in Odisha’a new industrial hub of Jharsuguda and Sambalpur, has given thumbs down to the quality of air in the area.

The survey report submitted to the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) was aimed at examining if further industrialization is possible in those areas. The draft report is being examined by SPCB environment scientists.

“We have received the report and are examining the recommendations of NEERI. Another round of discussion will be held at Nagpur in November as to which components of the recommendations are necessary to take a decision regarding a cap on further industrialization in those areas,” said senior environment scientist of SPCB Dilip Kumar Behera. NEERI reports revealed that emission of sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and fluoride are causing environmental hazards in the area, he said. “NEERI study reveals particulate matter — 10 and 2.5 — is responsible for air pollution. Mainly thermal plants, refractories, sponge iron units and coal mines are having an adverse effect on the environment,” said Behera. He, however, said NEERI didn’t give any industry specific recommendations.

The SPCB had entrusted NEERI to conduct the study in a 45 km radius area with Rengali in Sambalpur district as the epicenter. Earlier, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, had conducted a similar survey, based on which some industries, in the first phase, were given closure notice.

The basic purpose of the survey was to ascertain how much area in the districts can take the pollution load. “It was a typical scientific study based on which newer technology can be put in place to check pollution and expansion plans of existing industries and accommodation of new industries can be decided accordingly,” said NEERI director S R Wate.

There are around 23 sponge iron units in Sambalpur-Jharsuguda region. “After we felt that mostly sponge iron industries were responsible for dust and ash generation, we approached NEERI to conduct the study,” said SPCB environment engineer A K Swar. Odisha is the only state which has 110 sponge iron units, which emit 45% ash, he said.

He said earlier SPCB had recommended ‘no standalone’ sponge industry in the state. “If one applies for only sponge iron industry, he won’t be given the permit. A sponge iron industry henceforth can not be set up alone. There must be some ancillary unit attached to it,” said Swar. He said pneumatic dust handling has been made compulsory for the industries.

October 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm Leave a comment

Why India could remain forever poor: Tavleen Singh on Vedanta, Kalahandi and NGOs

Following report is from Indian express:

If there is one story that contains in it all the reasons why India remains a poor country, it is the story of the Vedanta aluminum refinery in Odisha. Now that economic reforms are back on the government’s agenda, it is a story I hope high officials, high-minded judges and busybody NGOs listen to carefully. Why do I tell it this week? Because earlier this month, Sterlite Industries gave notice that they are closing their Lanjigarh refinery because it is bleeding to death. It has lost Rs 2,500 crores trying to stay alive these past two years. When it closes, 6,500 people will lose their jobs in one of India’s poorest districts.

On a tour of Kalahandi’s villages, during the 1987 drought, I saw poverty so horrific that memories of children dying slowly in barren mud huts remains etched painfully not just in my mind but in my heart. The rains failed that year so the economy based on a single annual crop collapsed and thousands of Adivasi families were forced to live on a diet of birdseed and mango kernels for months. Women started selling babies they could not longer feed.

You would think then, would you not, that if someone was prepared to bring investment to such a desolate place he would be applauded, welcomed with open arms. The very opposite happened and for the wrong reasons. The first people to start protesting against Vedanta were foreigners. Had the refinery functioned on bauxite from the nearby Niyamgiri hills, aluminum could have been produced in Lanjigarh at $1,500 a tonne, instead of the global cost of $2,050. This caused alarm bells to start ringing in the ears of the international aluminum industry and soon powerful foreign NGOs appeared in Kalahandi to stop the project. Greenpeace and Amnesty International are still there supposedly to protect the interests, and sacred hills, of forest-dwelling Adivasi tribes.

The ‘foreign hand’ would not have mattered if the Government of India had not intervened to make the functioning of the refinery impossible in different ways. One of which was to declare that bauxite could not be mined in the Niyamgiri hills. There continues to be confusion about whether this was for environmental reasons or whether it was to protect Adivasis from losing their land. But, once mining was banned, the Orissa Mining Corporation that had signed an agreement with Vedanta to supply it with 150 million tonnes of bauxite, could no longer do so. It has so far been unable to supply an ounce. Vedanta’s environmental, governmental and NGO problems began after an investment of more than Rs 15,000 crores had already been made in the refinery so for two years it functioned on bauxite imported from other states. An unviable situation so the project will now close.

The Adivasis can now go back to living in primitive harmony with nature without schools for their children, without healthcare, without electricity or clean water and without the possibility of ever improving their lives. Will they be happy this way? Only according to urban NGOs who build flourishing businesses on romanticising desperate poverty and a way of life that they themselves could not abide for a single day.

What is interesting about the targeting of Vedanta by such a range of vested interests is that if it were a public sector company, it could have gone ahead and raped the Niyamgiri hills without anyone noticing. It has happened often in the past and continues to happen across the country. So when the Prime Minister sets in motion his new phase of economic reform, he should ask himself why. Could it be because those who would like to see India’s private sector remain the stunted creature it once was would like it to go back to being that way?

Judging from the tirades of NGOs and leftist political parties, this seems to be the case. They want all the country’s natural resources to remain in the hands of the state even if governments lack the money and the technology to exploit them. They appear never to have asked themselves why it is states that are richest in natural resources whose people remain mired in horrible poverty. Sadly they have been able to get away with the rubbish they talk in the name of the poor because the Prime Minister has never explained the need for economic reforms.

If all he can come up with is the kind of speech he made last week about ‘money not growing on trees’, then there is not the smallest chance that the reforms will succeed. The noise made by those who are either economically illiterate or have a vested interest in India remaining a poor country forever is too loud and the mood of negativity they have created too deep. The lies they have told are widely believed.

Follow Tavleen on Twitter @ tavleen_singh

October 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm 1 comment

Lower Suktel Irrigation Project of Balangir district: Politics and Reality

Following report is from the Samaja:

September 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm 4 comments

Kolkota based Ambo Steel and Power to set up pellet unit in Deogarh

Following is a report from the Pioneer:

Kolkota-based Ambo Steel and Power has proposed to set up a 1.2-MTPA pellet and beneficiation plant at Barkot in Deogarh district with an investment of Rs 478 crore.

Ipicol CMD CJ Venugopal said the proposal of the company was cleared at the State-Level Single Window Clearance Authority (SLSWCA) held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik.

The SLSWCA cleared two industrial project proposals worth Rs 538 crore, including the Ambo Steel and Power Company’s pellet and beneficiation plant. The Ipicol CMD said Ambo Steels and Power proposed to set up the plant in two phases and requires 200 acres of land. The plant would provide direct employment to around 500 people.

The company has also agreed to a proposal from the State Government to set up maize processing plant in undivided Koraput district, Venugopal said. He also said that the proposal of the SMB Beverage to set up a soft drink bottling plant at Bhatly in Bargarh district at a cost of Rs 60 crore, also got the nod of the SLSWCA. The plant would have a capacity to produce Rs 100 lakh crates per annum and provide direct employment opportunity to 117 persons. The company has sought 15 acres of land for the setting up the soft drinks bottling plant.

Venugopal said that as per the in principle decision of the SLSWCA, henceforth, the District Level Single Window Clearance Committee headed by the District Collectors were authorized to give clearance to all viable tourism related projects worth less than Rs 5 crore. Tourism projects above Rs 5 crore would come under the purview of the SLSWCA for scrutiny, he said.

In another major decision, the SLSWCA in principle prohibited setting up of any industry within 300 metres from the National and State Highways.

August 20, 2012 at 6:32 am Leave a comment

Eighty-six percent of Odisha households do not have access to piped water supply

Following report is from the Sambad:

July 18, 2012 at 1:02 am Leave a comment

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