Jharkhand flouting mining policy: West Bengal

New Delhi, Nov 15 | Updated: Nov 16 2005, 07:43am hrs
Irked by West Bengals loss of major investment projects in the steel sector to Jharkhand, the Left now wants the Centre to intervene in the matter of sharing of iron ore among states. The Left is also of the opinion that the Jharkhand government is flouting the national mining policy.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, CPI-M MP Dipankar Mukherjee has written, There has to be a regional balance both in terms of production and market for the location of steel plants, and there cannot be a rigid formulation of value addition only in a state where national resources like iron-ore exists, as is being insisted by the state government of Jharkhand.

Mr Mukherjee has further alleged the Jharkhand government intentionally delayed the mining lease of Chiria and Gua. He has written, The Prime Minister must ensure the renewal of the mining lease of Chiria and Gua under IISCO/SAIL without any further delay.

Hitting out at the Jharkhand government, Mr Mukherjee has written, SAIL has already been operating Bokaro steel plant within Jharkhand itself with a proven track record. For government-owned steel makers like SAIL or RINL, the government has to ensure the raw material requirement of iron ore of these plants and the responsibility cannot be abdicated to suit some short-sighted decision of a particular state government.

Two major steel projects of Jindal Steel & Power and JSW steel, envisaging investment of over Rs 35,000 crore each, have moved from West Bengal to Jharkhand recently, as the latter was reluctant to release iron-ore required for the projects recently.