Hyderabad: Telangana has been bestowed with abundant mineral reserves such as coal, limestone, dolomite, manganese, iron ore, uranium, granite, besides others. The State has identified mining as one of the core sectors and through its industrial policy has been attracting significant investments.
Emphasising that mining is one of the major growth engines for the State, Telangana Mining & Geology Minister K T Rama Rao said, with the efforts of the government, the State’s mining revenues are going to jump from Rs 3,170 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 3,500 crore in 2018-19, registering a 30 per cent increase.
Under the District Mineral Foundation (DMF), the State has released Rs 1,328 crore so far which is being used for the districts where mining is done. And through TS-iPAS, Telangana is seeing employment generation in both mining and ancillary industry.
Addressing the miners, policy makers, machinery manufacturers at the inaugural of the four-day Mining Today 2018 conference in Hyderabad on Wednesday, the Minister said, “The online system that we have introduced is allowing quicker filing and processing besides issuing statutory approvals.”
KTR informed, Telangana has taken measures to arrest recession in granite sector. The government has also brought out a comprehensive and one of its kind ‘Sand Policy’ in the country that aims at curtailing the middlemen and avoid overexploitation of the reserves. This is also facilitating quick disposal of sand from the dedicated yards that had been created for this purpose. Innovative steps such as sand taxis had been introduced by the State where one can order for sand and it will be delivered at the doorsteps.
He said, “Telangana is making arrangements to procure iron ore from NMDC’s Bailadila deposit in Chhattisgarh to feed the Khammam Steel Plant. A Rs 2 crore rail line has been proposed through which the ore will be supplied to the plant.”
Telangana government is exploring the use of drone technology to carry out surveillance of the mining exploration and other activity in the State. This will help identify if there is any illegal mining happening as well as tracking abandoned mines.
Charting out five point focus in mining, KTR said mines should be treated as national treasure and transparency should be there on how mining is being done; mining should not impact environment and harm nature; safety of mining workers should be given attention; technology should be used to improve efficiency; and miners should be socially responsible.
Jayesh Ranjan, principle secretary, Industries and Commerce, Government of Telangana, said, the world is talking about India as the next trillion dollar economy. Economists and researchers are working on ways to improve economy through different means including technology. Telangana which has topped the national rankings in ease of doing business is using technology aggressively.
Telangana government has initiated geo-fencing of mines and about 40 per cent of the works are complete as of now and entire activity will be complete by June this year.
He added, “The online system for mining that has been created by the State government is enabling e-permits and e-payments. An online booking platform has also been introduced for sand excavation. Technology will help bring automation and efficiency in addition to helping companies comply with the mining norms. Telangana government is ready to help other States of they want to replace the best practices followed here as well as seek partnerships to implement future technologies.”
Speaking on the occasion, ESL Narasimhan, Governor of Telangana, said, “Security and health of the miners is important. The DMF usage in districts should be transparent. Relief and replacement policy should evolve. There should be severe penalty on those who cause ecological disturbance in the name of mining.”
Union Minister of Mines Narendra Singh Tomar, said, “States should speed up the auction process and the DMF should be used for respective districts. Exploitation of environment should be avoided.”
Arun Kumar, secretary for Mines, Government of India, “Central government has made the necessary amendments in the mining sector. One of the major initiatives had been to allow auctioning in mining. This has seen four-fold jump in the auctioning of mines. Also a trust in the name of District Mineral Foundation (DMF) has been created by the Central government that has generated Rs 13,600 crore that can be used in the districts for the betterment of the affected population because of mining.”
A K Kothari, president, Mining Engineers Association of India (MEAI) said, “It’s important that the nation designates mineral areas in view of the scarcity of minerals. Central government should enable an environment of transparency with the transfer of mining leases in the country.”
Saying that the challenges in the mining sector had been stopping India to tap its full potential, Dilip Chenoy, director general, Ficci, said, a committee has been constituted by the industry body setting goals for 2030- including making mining contribute significantly the GDP, developing State mining clusters, pushing for ‘Mining in India’ on the lines of ‘Make in India’, bridging skill gap and bringing all the stakeholders on to one common platform.”
Meet focusing host of issues
The Mining Engineers Association of India (MEAI) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) with the support of Telangana government are jointly organising ‘Mining Today 2018-International Conference-cum-Exhibition’ at HITEX Exhibition Centre, Hyderabad from 14-17 February 2018.
The conference is focusing on mineral exploration, mine design techniques, policy, environment, mines safety aspects, opportunities in mining sector, transfer of emerging technology and will allow interaction/wining business dialogues, platform to launch new products. The theme of the event is T-E-M-P-O (Technology, Equipment, Machinery, Policy and Overseas). Exhibitors, delegates and participants have come from Asia, Africa, United States of America, Canada, Australia to participate in the event.
Mining Today 2018 chairman Sushil Kumar, said, “The conference allows a platform for miners, technology providers and policy makers to discuss and collaborate to improve the mining standards and outcomes in India. As India will see depletion of coal and natural gas by 20140, its time the nation comes out with a strategy to find alternative energy resources.”
While at the Centre, the government is emphasising on ease of doing business, States such as Telangana have made significant strides with its industrial policy. TS-iPASS is helping the State attract investments across sectors including mining, Kumar added.