June 14, 2011 12:33:10 am
A high-level delegation of the steel ministry led by steel secretary Pradeep Kumar Misra will meet Jharkhand chief secretary SK Chaudhary next week to seek renewal of leases of Chiria and Gua mines in favour of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL).
The delegation will also seek renewal of three leases of Kiriburu-Meghahauburu mines,for which the Jharkhand government had accorded in-principle approval on March 14,2009.
Though SAIL has submitted all required documents for renewing these five leases,yet their formal renewal remains elusive. Unless these leases are renewed we are not sure about the future of these mines, a senior ministry official told The Indian Express.
The delegation would include SAIL Chairman C S Verma and NMDC Limited Chairman Rana Som.
SAIL was granted a total of ten leases in Jharkhand of which six were for Chiria and four for Gua mines but their validity have expired triggering concerns within the PSU management.
Currently two leases of Chiria (Dhobil and Ankua) and (Duargaiburu,Jhillingburu-II and Topailore) of Gua are operating on deemed extension.
According to the official,SAIL did submit the renewal applications to the state government well in time,but the latter rejected Ajitaburu,Sukri-Latur and Tatiburu leases of Chiria and Jhillingburu lease in 2004-05.
Of these four cases Tatiburu is now pending in Ranchi High Court and the other three in the Supreme Court. SAIL’s stakes are high in Chiria and Gua as they would ensure raw material security in the near future for its Bokaro unit and also for its proposed 3 MT plant to be jointly set up with South Korean steel giant Posco. Recently the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had accorded green clearance to Chiria mines.
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