Crackdown on illegal mining in Orissa hits steel industry


Bhubaneswar: Steel producers of Orissa and West Bengal met officials here Wednesday and sought their help to shore up supply of raw material which has been hit by the crackdown on illegal mining in Orissa.

Support TwoCircles

“The plants have almost closed down in West Bengal. In Orissa, there is stock of raw materials for three-four days. If the raw material are not given, then major plants would also close down here in Orissa,” said Bipin Vohra, chairman of SPS Steel, after the meeting.

The industry representatives demanded immediate lifting of restrictions under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code from railway sidings and allow transport of raw material from the mines.

“The association members had come today. They have requested us whether we can lift the prohibitory orders in the railway sidings. We have suggested that they should meet the railway officials and request them to transport raw material according to the state government’s guidance,” said Ashok Dalwai, the steel and mines secretary of Orissa.

“About section 144, the district administration can take a decision in this regard,” he added.

The Orissa government closed four sidings last month after more than 300,000 tonnes of unclaimed iron and manganese ore was found. A crackdown on illegal mining was launched soon after.

Last week, 48 representatives of mining companies were arrested in mineral-rich Keonjhar district.