Telangana Industries and IT Minister KT Rama Rao
Telangana Industries and IT Minister KT Rama Rao

Hyderabad: Telangana Industries and IT Minister KT Rama Rao on Wednesday urged the Union government to hasten the process for establishment of steel factory in Bayyaram in the erstwhile Khammam district as promised under the AP State Reorgansiation Act 2014.

Inaugurating a national conference - Mining Today -2018, conducted jointly by the state government and FICCI here, the minister said that his government has been pursuing the issue of the setting up of the steel plant with the Union government and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC).

A study conducted by the Telangana government on the establishment of the steel plant came to a conclusion that the project is viable, profit making and potential generator of employment. The government has already released Rs 2 crore to the Railway Vikas Nigam Limited to conduct a feasibility study on laying railway line between Bailadila iron ore mining to the proposed Bayyaram steel plant, he explained.

Listing out the measures taken for the environment-friendly and scientific extraction of the minerals available in the state, KTR said his government has brought into force a unique sand mining policy. The new policy curtailed middlemen’s role, prevented over exploitation of the natural sources and helped systematic extraction of sand. The introduction of ‘Sand Taxis’ received immense response from people.     

Under the scheme, sand will be supplied to the customers at their construction sites. Online mineral e-payment, e-permit system in the payment of money, filing applications, process and dispatch and e-way bills brought more transparency in the management of mines and minerals. 

With the revolutionary measures, revenues from the mining increased many fold. In 2016-17, state earned Rs 3,170 crore and it will increase by 30 per cent in 2017-18, he said. As the Telangana is richly endowed with mineral resources mainly limestone, granite, iron ore and other major and minor minerals, the minister said mining is a growth engine for the state. KTR said the government was offering incentives to promote granite industry which had huge potential in earning foreign exchange. 

The minister explained the importance of transparency in the allocation of mines, environmental effects, safety of mine workers, use of technology mainly drones to curb excess mining and encroachment, geo-fencing and geo-tagging and social responsibility in the mining.

Union Minister for Mines Narendra Singh Tomar said that the Centre will extend all assistance to the state in auctioning the mines under the new mining policy brought into force in 2015-16. He asked the state for the e-auctioning of limestone mines. Governor ESL Narasimhan cautioned the state to keep a vigil on the exploration of the mines constantly. The exploitation of the mineral resources will lead to environmental concerns.