Green delays to stoke red terror, cautions Beni
Verma’s November 30 letter follows SAIL’s top brass cautioning that delays at two SAIL mines — Gua in Jharkhand and Bolani in Orissa — could trigger serious raw material scarcity at its Bokaro plant in Jharkhand and Integrated Steel Plant in West Bengal.
When contacted, Natarajan said her office had not received “any such letter”. She, however, said the issues raised were being “addressed”. The clearance for Bolani was accorded “several days ago” while there are “issues related to environmental violations” in case of Gua mines, she told The Indian Express.
Verma wrote that Gua operations had been held up since June 16, 2011 due to non-availability of forest clearance. Although the stage-I forest clearance was granted on August 14 this year, mining could not resume as SAIL is still awaiting environmental clearance (EC). The steel minister wrote that this was despite the environment ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee recommending EC for Gua mines. The mine, with a production capacity of 2.3 million tonnes per annum has a run-of-mine production of 8,000 tonnes a day.
Verma said the Gua mine closure has affected 40,000 people. He also reminded Natarajan that SAIL’s ore mines in Orissa and Jharkhand were located in areas