STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 6 January
The state government stressed on transportation of mineral through railways while underscoring the need of creation of more infrastructural facilities for it, according to senior official here. 
“The transport through railway will reduce the traffic load on roads which causes numerous hazards for common people. Considering the general allegation of miners regarding high transport cost charged by transporters in the state, we have asked the transport department to implement strictly the approved district specific rates for transportation of minerals by trucks,” said chief secretary Mr Jugal Kishore Mohapatra. 
It has been resolved to take exemplary penal action against the violations on the account, he added, while reviewing the mining activities in the state level task force meeting here. 
During discussion on stranded  trucks on the NHs for unloading in Paradip port, it was pointed out that the port can unload about 1200 to 1500 trucks per day. The meeting directed the chairman of Paradip Port Trust (PPT) and director of mines to jointly look into, and submit a report within two weeks, on the actual loading of trucks from originating points and unloading capacity of the port and measures to resolve the problem. “The chief secretary also asked the PPT authorities to adopt alternative mechanism for scaling up unloading capacity of the port. The transport authorities have been advised to create off-road transit points for trucks at strategic locations to reduce the jam of trucks on roads which create obstacles for movement of passenger vehicles,” said a senior official.  The mining department was asked to make use of Google Arch for monitoring whether actual mining is being done within specified boundaries.  “Since the mine boundaries have been digitized, monitoring can be done through remote sensing mechanism. The data availed from remote sensing can be inspected through actual field verification to determine the extent of violation, if any,” he said. 
Official sources informed that mining revenue collection up to December 2013 has been to the tune of Rs 3894 crore against a collection of Rs 3803 crore for the corresponding period during 2012.  Dispatch of minerals up to December 2013 has been 40.58 MT against a dispatch of 36.81 MT for the corresponding period during last year.  The production of minerals, as targeted, has been reduced to 40.05 MT by December 2013 against a total production of 42.97 MT during same period in 2012.  “Regular monitoring of dispatch and control of illegal mining has resulted in more dispatch and less exploitation of natural resources,” claimed the official.