Posts filed under ‘Mining and Industrialization’
Bhubaneswar, Dec 23 (PTI) After a smooth decade at the helm, the BJD government in Orissa encountered stumbling blocks in 2010 with mega projects like Posco and Vedanta getting entangled in a mesh of green hurdles while rifts in the ruling party came to the fore.
The Orissa High Court passed severe strictures declaring land acquisition for the proposed Rs 15,000-crore Vedanta University project in Puri district as illegal, prompting Opposition Congress and BJP to launch a vigorous “oust Naveen” campaign.
As the court also directed the state government to return over 6,000 acres of land, including some belonging to Lord Jagannath, to the original owners, Opposition disrupted the Assembly for many days during the winter session seeking Patnaik”s ouster for the “illegalities” committed.
While Opposition parties launched statewide stir and rallies seeking Naveen”s resignation besides action against Vedanta and officers involved in illegal land acquisition for the project along Konark-Puri marine drive, an unfazed state government challenged the HC verdict in Supreme Court.
Though still grappling with the Opposition onslaught, the Naveen government suffered yet another blow with the Supreme Court taking a serious view of alleged diversion of funds and non-implementation of rural job guarantee programme – MGNREGA in Orissa and favouring a central probe into the matter.
Pulling up the government on a PIL, the apex court also asked as to why a CBI probe should not be ordered into alleged irregularities in MGNREGA, under which Rs 40,000 crore were being released by the Centre annually.
Salvos against BJD regime from courts were fired when Orissa High Court in July set aside the state government”s recommendation for prospecting license over Khandadhar iron ore reserve in favour of Posco-India for its proposed Rs 51,000 crore steel project near Paradip. Making adverse observations against the government, the court also lamented that the state not only lacked a proper mines and mineral policy but its mining scenario also continued to be in a mess.
The mega steel project failed to take off though Posco-India had signed an MoU with Orissa government way back in June, 2005 for setting up its 12 mtpa greenfield plant due to stiff opposition from locals and procedural delay. Finally, when Jagatsinghpur district administration launched land acquisition for the South Korean steel major, Union Environment Ministry, in early August, directed Orissa government to halt all project related activities at the proposed site near Paradip.
Power plants to come up at Thakurpur in Sonepur district, Manmunda in Boud district and Majhapada in Sundergarh district
Orissa has continued its growth momentum as a favourite destination for investors attracting investments worth Rs 98,929.49 crore in the April-June period of this fiscal. The most of these new investment proposals are in sectors like power, steel, cement, food processing and downstream industries.
The single largest investment proposal of Rs 45,000 crore has come from Strategic Energy Technology Systems Pvt Ltd for a coal to liquid project at Angul on May 12, 2010.
The bulk of the investments- Rs 33,569.25 crore has been proposed in the power sector with proposals for setting up of Independent Power Plants (IPPs) with a cumulative capacity of 7740 MW.
Ferro Alloys Corporation (FACOR) Power Limited has proposed to set up a 270 MW (2×135) coal-based thermal power plant at Haridaspur in Jajpur district. Similarly, KU Projects intends to set up a 1320 MW (2×660) power plant a Thakurpur in Sonepur district at an investment of Rs 7260 crore. This project has been cleared by the High Level Clearance Authority (HLCA) of the state government.
Similarly, Shivani Thermal Power Station of Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) has proposed to set up a 1320 MW (2×660) power plant at Chhotapadagan in Cuttack district at a cost of Rs 7554.54 crore.
Visa Power has submitted a revised proposal to the state government owned Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Orissa Ltd (Ipicol) to set up a 1320 MW (2×660) power plant at Brahmanabasta in Cuttack district, entailing an investment of Rs 6319.48 crore.
Shri Anant Infra Energy Pvt Limited has evinced interest to set up a 210 MW coal-based power plant at Garjan Bahal in Sundergarh district.
Responsive Industries Ltd has proposed to set up a 1320 MW (2×660) power plant at Manmunda in Boud district at a cost of Rs 6487.50 crore.
CLP Power India Pvt Ltd plans to set up a 1980 (3×660) MW power plant at Majhapada in Sundergarh district at a cost of Rs 10,000 crore.
Among the investment proposals in the cement sector, Kolkata-based Icore Super cement Ltd has proposed to set up a cement plant at Somnathpur in Balasore district at an investment of Rs 151 crore.
While Ramco Industries Limited has evinced interest to set up a 120,000 tonnes per annum asbestos fibre cement sheet plant at Jharsuguda at a cost of Rs 35 crore, Madras Cement intends to set up a 4000 tonne per day cement plant at Nandibera in Malkangiri district at a cost of Rs 750 crore.
Reliance Cementation Ltd has submitted proposal for a 2.8 million tonne per annum cement plant at Jallangbara in Sundergarh district at a cost of Rs 970 crore.
Similarly, Binani Cement plans to set up a one million tonne per annum clinker grinding unit at Dhamara in Bhadrak district at a cost of Rs 130 crore.
In the steel sector, Rashmi Metalliks Limited has proposed to set up a three million tonne per annum pelletisation plant and 44 m captive power plant at Baliarpur in Bhadrak district at an investment of Rs 3465 crore.
The Orissa Minerals Development Company Limited has evinced interest for a two million tonne per annum beneficiation and pelletisation plant at Dalki in Keonjhar district at a cost of Rs 889 .
Following report is from The Samaj:
Bangalore: With the illegal mining issue in the spotlight, the Centre on Saturday said it is planning to set up an authority to check the menace.
A Group of Ministers discussed at a meeting in Delhi yesterday outlines of the proposed Mineral Regulation Authority and the powers to be vested with it to deal with illegal mining, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said here.
“We have discussed it. There are lot of issues to be looked into,” he told reporters, refusing to commit himself to a timeframe to introduce a bill in Parliament for establishing the authority.
When set up the authority would have powers to regulate mining, granting of mining leases and filing of cases against violators, as a deterrent against illegal mining of minerals.
Moily slammed the Karnataka government for not checking illegal mining and illegal exports of minerals, saying “it is unfortunate though the Centre has given all the powers to states, it has not been exercised”.
“They have failed to prevent illegal mining and regulate mining activity,” he said.
Meanwhile, stepping up its attack, Congress demanded resignation of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa for his government’s “failure” to check illegal mining and illegal export of iron ore in the state.
“They have no right to govern even for a minute,” Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here, claiming that in a span of three months from January about 3.5 lakh tonne of iron ore was illegally exported from the state ports “and that too under the nose of the chief minister”.
Ridiculing the measures announced by the Karnataka government in ordering closure of 10 ports and ban on issue of transport permits to check illegal exports, he said “they are closing the door after allowing horse to escape”.
Reiterating his party’s demand for a CBI probe into illegal mining, he said “Why don’t they file a simple FIR and transfer it to CBI? It is a nonsensical drama they are enacting.”
Yeddyurappa has rejected the demand for a CBI probe by the state Congress which is now on a 320 km padayatra, to mine-rich Bellary district to protest illegal mining.
To a question, Singhvi said, “If Congress leaders are involved in illegal mining, let them be punished. We are not holding brief for anyone.”
New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) The environment ministry Tuesday put on hold construction of the Rs.150 billion Vedanta University in Orissa by the Anil Agarwal Foundation following complaints of irregularities.
The ministry said it had received information alleging irregularities and “illegal, unethical and unlawful deeds” by the foundation.
It said serious objections raised during the Orissa Coastal Zone Management Authority meeting were not appropriately considered while granting coastal regulation zone (CRZ) and environmental clearances.
“The above issues are relevant and important and predict a detailed examination. I have been directed to inform you that the environmental and CRZ clearances issued on April 16, 2010 shall be kept in abeyance till a final decision in the matter is taken by the ministry,” said Bharat Bhushan, director in the ministry, in a letter to the foundation.
The ministry asked the company not to proceed with any construction or development works till a detailed examination of all the issues raised are examined by its Expert Appraisal Committee.
The Anil Agarwal foundation is promoted by NRI billionaire and chairman of Vedanta Resources, Anil Agarwal.
It has proposed to set up the multi-disciplinary Vedanta University over 6,000 acres of land near the Konark-Puri marine drive, some 60 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar.
This not-for-profit university has been envisaged as one-of-its-kind institution for quality higher education and cutting-edge research in 95 disciplines for 100,000 students.
BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa state pollution control board has given a clean chit to Vedanta’s alumina refinery in the state’s Kalahandi district after conducting checks in the areas near the plant, an official said on Thursday.
The board had launched a probe after series of allegations made by some individuals and organisations in January this year, claiming at least 100 people died of tuberculosis over the past few years by the pollution caused by the plant at Lanjigarh, some 500 km from here.
A delegation led by local tribal leader Sridhar Pesnia in January submitted a memorandum to the state government, alleging the deaths of cattle and birds in the area.
A team of scientists from the board made an on-the-spot enquiry last month and collected data and samples from different sources, including data from local health department, a senior official of the board said.
“As per the report the scientists submitted, only one death has occurred – in 2006 – due to tuberculosis in the periphery area of the refinery between 2002 and 2010,” he said.
The team analysed the water samples from the river, streams and tubewell from various locations around the plant and found that the pollution in surrounding surface and ground water remained within acceptable limits.