Govt to prepare mineral transport plan

Bhubaneswar: In a bid to regulate traffic congestion often created by heavy loaded mineral carrying trucks on roads, the state government today decided to formulate a transport plan and encourage transportation of export oriented minerals through railways.

"Different issues relating to transport of minerals and the resultant difficulties caused to people living along mineral transport corridors were discussed at a meeting here," said chief secretary B K Patnaik. It was decided that the minerals meant for export will be transported to Paradip through railways and the transport through roads will be discouraged, he said. Steps will also be taken to limit the number of trucks plying through National Highway No-215, he said adding that the number of trucks at a given point of time will be limited to 2000, he said.

A sub-committee comprising stakeholders like mining, railway and transport authorities has been constituted to make a study of transport strength of roads and movement of vehicles at different points. The Deputy Director of Mines, Joda Circle in Keonjhar district, will act as convener of the committee. "The committee will also make a study of daily requirement of coal consuming plants operating in the state and will suggest possibilities of?tagging up of the power plants with specific mines and sidings," he said.

The committee will prepare a draft transportation plan. The chief secretary has suggested that while making the study the committee should think of optimal utilisation of different mode of transportation. The transport plan will have a direct bearing upon the extraction of minerals and issue of permits to transporters. The committee is expected to submit its draft plan within a week.