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Bauxite miners facing tough times: Industry

Vimukt Dave  |  Mumbai/ Rajkot 

After the state government restricted fresh issuance and renewal of lease for mining in the state, bauxite miners in Porbandar area of Gujarat are facing tough times.

According to industry sources, over Rs 1,000 crore worth of investments of bauxite miners are believed to have been blocked due to the government's restriction. Porbandar District Chamber of Commerce and Industries officials maintained that about 8.3 million tonnes of bauxite stock is waiting for a dispatch permission from the authorities for past three years.

The mining activity in Porbandar area has almost come to a stand still for last three years after the Gujarat government issued a resolution (GR) to curb illegal mining in this area. As per the resolution, the units using bauxite for calcinations and beneficiation purpose will not be given lease licenses for mining. The state has close to 200 units solely depending on this. The state government passed this resolution keeping in view the alleged illegal mining activities, which become rampant in parts of Gujarat over the past couple of years.

"This GR has more or less killed the mining industry in Porbandar. After shut down, over Rs 1000 crore has been blocked in about 8.3 million tonnes un-dispatched bauxite at mines. We have fought till Supreme Court and court has given decision in our favor but state government is not hearing our voice," said Padubhai Raichura, president of Porbandar District Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

According to Raichura, over 25,000 laborers have lost their employment due to shutdown of mining activity. Moreover, transporters who are connected with it also had to shift to other places or sell off their trucks and divert to other businesses.

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First Published: Tue, June 26 2012. 00:57 IST