Is Ramesh blocking SAIL's Chiria mines lease?

Steel minister Virbhadra Singh wants PM's intervention

sweta-ranjan

Sweta Ranjan | July 19, 2010


Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh
Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh

Steel minister Virbhadra Singh seems to be environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh's next target as the ministry of environment and forests is set to reject to Steel Authority of India Limited's request for renewing its lease on the Chiria mines in Jharkhand. If the lease is not renewed, the PSU's Rs 70,000 crore expansion plan will be seriously affected.

The MoEF is scheduled to take a decision on July 21 on SAIL's proposal. MoEF sources say that the ministry has no plans to renew the lease as it has classified the Chiria mines as a ‘no go’ area and renewing the lease will disturb a migratory route used by elephants. 

Though the steel ministry has not yet been officially informed and the formal decision is pending, Virbhadra Singh is perturbed at indications coming from the MoEF.

“We want the Chiria mines for future raw material security and for the companies under SAIL. SAIL, which has five units, is investing thousands of crores of rupees for expansion and modernisation. If we don’t have the raw material available on long-term basis, all this investment will be useless,” Singh told Governance Now in an interview.

“We are not worried about the raw material needs for the present, but we want to secure raw material supply for long term.”

The Chiria mines are spread over 2,375 hectares in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand with deposits of two billion tonnes of high-grade iron ore. The mines had been originally allotted to Indian Iron & Steel Company (IISCO), which was merged with SAIL in 2006.

The very existence of the PSU will be at stake if it does not get this iron ore from Chiria, according to a top SAIL official.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the present iron ore reserves in SAIL’s possession were not enough to meet its future requirements considering the major expansion plans in the offing.
Singh said: “I am hopeful that the MoEF will take a rational decision. I am in touch with the PM.

“In the name of forests and environment we can’t compromise with the development of the country. We will see that our resources are used even as the environment is not hurt. If it is done in a scientific way there won't be any harm to the forest. It makes sense to give it (the mining lease) to a company like SAIL which has a very good track record of mining and also looking after mining area properly,” the minister added.

Comments

 

Other News

PM Modi leaves for G7 Summit in Italy

In his first foreign visit after taking oath of office for the third time, prime minister Narendra Modi Thursday evening left for Italy to participate in the G7 Outreach Summit. “At the invitation of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, I am travelling to Apulia region in Italy to participat

Some market talk, some gossip – learnings over tea at RBI

A Fly on the RBI Wall: An Insider’s View of the Central Bank By Alpana Killawala Rupa Publications, 248 pages, Rs 595  

Coalition politics not expected to impact India’s foreign policy

Prime minister Narendra Modi has strived incessantly to bring laurels and much needed recognition for the nation since May 2014 when he was sworn in as the head of state. The poser which can be deliberated upon is this: What will be the consequential impact of the new era of coalition politics which confro

New govt`s first decision pushes for farmer welfare

The BJP-led NDA government has started its term with its first decision relating to farmer welfare. Narendra Modi took charge of office as prime minister of India for the third time on Monday, a day after he and his colleagues were sworn in by the president of India. In his fi

Narendra Modi takes oath for third term

Narendra Modi made history Sunday evening as he was sworn in by president Droupadi Murmu for a third successive term. Modi thus becomes the first prime minister since Jawaharlal Nehru to have comptered two full terms and beginning a third consecutive term. In the swearing-in c

Modi appointed PM for the third time

Narendra Modi was Friday appointed the prime minister for a historic third time, as president Droupadi Murmu invited him to form the next government. The swearing-in ceremony for the new council of ministers will take place on Sunday. “The President, having satisfied herself on the bas

Visionary Talk: Amitabh Gupta, Pune Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook Twitter Google Plus Linkedin Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter