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Odisha To Engage OISF Personnel To Curb Theft, Aims At 1,000cr Revenue From Minor Mineral

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has set a revenue generation target of around Rs 1,000 crore from the minor mineral sector and planned to engage the state’s industrial security force to curb theft of such natural resources, an official said on Friday.

The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Chief Secretary A K Tripathy.

“The government has set a revenue generation target of around Rs 1,000 crore from the minor mineral sector,” Tripathy said.

He said the minor minerals like sand, stone chips, and stone pieces are mostly utilized in the construction and infrastructure sectors.

In the first phase, ten sections of Odisha Industrial Security Force (OISF) personnel have been deployed at various locations in eight minor mineral-rich districts.

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The force will be utilized to prevent illegal transportation of minor minerals, the official said, adding that the approved locations for deployment of OISF personnel include Cuttack Sadar, Baranga, Jaleswar, Anandapur, Chhtrapur, Bhanjanagar, Dharmasala, Tangi and Ranapur.

Besides one section of the force will be engaged in Jharsuguda, Lakahanpur, Brajarajnagar on a rotation basis, the official said.

Tripathy also said that the deployed OISF team will move any other tahasil or sub-division to stop the illegal lifting of minor minerals.

He asked the revenue and disaster management department to identify and operationalize the new sources for filling the gap between demand and supply of minor minerals.

Revenue and Disaster Management secretary B P Sethi said the Directorate of Minor Minerals has been made functional as per earlier decisions of the state government.

“In the last couple of months, 1,129 new minor mineral sources have been identified in different districts. With these, the total number of minor mineral sources increased to 4,965,” Sethi said.

Tripathy also asked officials to identify sand-rich river beds on banks of Mahanadi, Baitarani, Brahmani, Rusikulya, Subarnarekha in cooperation with the Department of Water Resources, Forest and Environment.

Director Minor Minerals B B Das said, “A revenue to the tune of Rs 37.11 crore has been collected during April and May this year from minor minerals.”

He said the process for the preparation of mining plan, availing of environmental clearance, and timely completion of the bidding for another 1,469 sources are in an advanced stage.

(PTI)

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