CEC recommends transportation of Iron Ore by Rail in next 2 years to protect environment

If the proposed measures are implemented, it will result in transportation of at least 70% of iron ore through Railways/conveyor belts in these districts

BALLARI: Transportation of iron ore from Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumkuru districts by road is likely to end in the next two years with the Supreme Court constituted Central Empowered Committee (CEC) recommending its transportation through conveyor belts/railways to prevent environmental degradation.

M.K. Jiwrajka, former member secretary of CEC, has submitted a 57-page report to the apex court urging it to direct mining lessees and steel plants to install conveyer systems within 21 months, including the time required for right of way and Forest (Conservation) Act approvals. “If the proposed measures are implemented, it will result in transportation of at least 70% of iron ore through conveyor belts/railways in these districts.

Though production will gradually increase from 29 million metric tonnes to 40 million metric tonnes in the next five years, the ore that will be transported by road will be much less than the present level. Thus, the environmental degradation caused by transportation of ore by road will be contained,” said Mr Jiwarjka stated in his report submitted to the court on August 22.

Mr Jiwrajka, a retired IFS officer, who dealt with Karnataka’sillegal mining case  on behalf of the CEC in the apex court, said that the proposed scheme of transportation would provide for automatic and in-built safeguards to ensure that the Rs 15,000 crore socio-economic ameliorative measures in the mining ravaged areas under the Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Corporation were implemented. He said that JSW Steel Ltd., the largest buyers of iron ore, should construct closed covered conveyer system between Nandllhalli to its plant and linked conveyor systems to transport at least 15 MMT of iron ore.  The apex court is expected to take this matter for hearing on September 14.