Project s worth Rs 340 billion have been proposed for the development of three important mining regions in Karnataka. A detail ed presentation was made and discussed during the recent review of the progress of the Comprehensive Environment Plan for Mining Impact Zone (CEPMIZ) scheme in Bengaluru recently, said industry sources.
Sources, who attended the meeting, said that the Karnataka state officials made the presentation under five broad heads including socio-economic activities, eco-restoration, forest and ecology activities, road infrastructure to support mining, study report on proposed railway lines and the total outlay for proposed CEPMIZ scheme.
The three regions include Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur.
The social economic factors include housing, sanitation, skill development, health, women and child welfare.
The financial outlay for the proposals compiled by KMERC includes eco-restoration and socio-economic development- Rs 227.02 bn, road Infrastructure Rs 59.70 billion and railway lines (without the cost of land and cost escalation) - Rs. 53.82 billion.
It is proposed that tourism development be included as an alternate employment generation sector to compensate for job losses resulting from automation in the mining sector.
During discussions, the CEC suggested that before opening up new forest areas for mining it would be prudent to ensure the full utilisation of the mineral resources available in the already opened up areas.
There are also plans to build roads - connecting mines to mines, mines to major roads/ bypasses - so that vehicles carrying minerals are able to avoid using roads passing through villages. A RITES official informed that the total ore and mineral deposits, according to an IBM Report, in Tumkur and Chitradurga districts were in the region 151.108 MMT and this could increase upto 350 MMT once mining activities are fully taken up in Chikkanayakanahalli and Hosadurga range.
In Bellary district, the quantum of mining activities from various mines is about 40.3932 MMT per annum.
The IBM report says that while the quantum of mining will be around 389.852 MMT for 20 years, there is an additional 350 MMT in Ramadurga range.
There is a possibility that the auction of new blocks of over 198 Ha. may yield additional an 20 MMT.
Meanwhile, Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) objected to some of the proposals, including laying of railway lines, and stated that a report being drawn up by E&Y was under preparation and would be shared soon.
The CEC had suggested that the components of proposals that will placed before the Supreme Court should conform to the objectives of the CEPMIZ scheme. While priority should be given to building capital assets for the community in each of the components, the maintenance expenses after a period of five years of operation should be met from the state budget.
It was also suggested that the maintenance component of the state schemes under no circumstance be included in CEPMIZ proposals.
The free distribution of articles to individual beneficiaries is also to be stringently excluded from the scheme.
The overall financial outlay will be limited by the funds that are expected to accrue to the SPV, including those in the next 10 years. The CEPMIZ scheme, therefore, has to be implemented in a phased manner keeping in view the priority accorded to the various scheme, said CEC.