Haldia, Vizag ports reluctant to share info on mineral export

Bhubaneswar: Worried over the illegal transportation of iron ore from some mines in the state as detected by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Orissa Government has said it is not getting required cooperation from the authorities of Haldia and Vizag ports. "The authorities of ports in Haldia and Vizag are not providing adequate information on export of minerals while Paradip Port Trust has been cooperating," Chief Secretary B K Patnaik told reporters yesterday.

Patnaik was responding to a question on CVC`s observation that many iron ore miners including those in Orissa were defrauding railways a few thousand crore rupees by passing off export consignments of ore for domestic consumption. The state government would soon convene a meetig of port authorities on the questionable export of minerals, particularly the iron ore, the chief secretary pointed out that Haldia and Vizag ports were not fully cooperating though several letters had been written to them.

"We have also sought intervention of the cabinet secretary in this regard," Patnaik said adding the Ministry of Shipping had also asked the port authorities to join the operation against illegal mining and their trasportation. But the port aothorities were yet to rise to the occasion to cooperate with the state government to prevent such practice, Patnaik said. The chief secretary, however, said the state government had been collecting certain information on export of iron ore through Haldia and Vizag ports by enganing its officers.

Iron ore from mines in Orissa and Jharkhand were sent to Haldia, Vizag, Paradip and Gangavaram ports for exports. Meanwhile, the state government had decided to engage the special task force to keep a tab on the amount of iron ore being trasnported for the purpose of export.