Legislator admits Nagaland needs ‘proper mineral policy’
Dimapur, August 20 : The mining industry is a major economic activity which contributes significantly to the economy of India yet mining in the subcontinent faces opposition from various welfare and civil action groups over questions of Human Rights and environmental concerns.
However, a suitable mineral exploration and production policy is required. Such a policy can properly manage resources including groundwater, and resources such as sand, gravel and boulder are pivotal to socio economic development of Nagaland, for instance, and the community and nation in general.
This statement was reprised by parliamentary secretary for Geology and Mining Dr. Imtiwapang Aier at the 36th State Geological Programming Board at the directorate of Geology and Mining in Dimapur on Saturday, August 20.
According to the legislator, many national companies and private entrepreneurs have shown interest in investing in the state of Nagaland and to invest in her mineral development. The interest is more so considering that Nagaland is endowed with a few important minerals, the politician said.
Nagaland can generate a comprehensive database report before operation, Dr. Aier said. He encouraged the geologists and mining engineers at the event to ‘generate proper database record and come up with appropriate plans, identify potential sites, suitable technology, and economic viability.
This will allow minerals to be exploited with maximum benefit to the people, the parliamentary secretary said.
The geology and mining agency is mainly engaged in investigation and exploration of coal, limestone, building materials and base metals. Of it, coal mining and small-scale mining of building materials are already in progress, the parliamentary secretary said.
Dr. Aier also opined that a mineral-based industry can be the backbone of the state’s economy once developed. Therefore, he said, the department of Geology and Mining should take it as a challenge and concentrate their efforts on ‘already discovered mineral deposits.’
Likewise, he encouraged them to ‘search for new mineral deposits as many investors are already showing interest and approaching the government.’
On the event, Dr. Aier remarked that ‘such board meetings’ should provide a platform to the state’s agencies as well as central agencies to interact with one another.’ The platform will allow an exchange of ideas; they can devise further programming efforts for an effective and fruitful mineral investigation plan for the benefit of the state and her people, he said.
In an agenda paper made available to media persons during the event, the Nagaland State Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (NSMDC) also stated a review of activities that it had carried out during the current year. It mentioned that the Mineral Industry Growth Centre (MIGC), located at Kiruphema, and funded under the SPA Scheme with a total project of 500.00 lakh, was proposed during 2010-2011.
The aim of it, the review stated, was to demonstrate and promote various techniques in exploiting minerals available in the state and generate avenue for employment. Likewise, it was to help the “educated” unemployed youths. It also mentioned that the project was complete in all aspects and was ready for commissioning.
On the upgrade of the Decorative Dimensional Stone Plant (DDSP) at Wazeho, it was stated that the NSMDC had proposed modernization and an up-grade of existing plants. This was to be by installing higher-capacity machineries such as high-speed diamond gang-saw machine—mainly to enhance the production capacity of the existing DDSP to reduce the cost of production and make the plant more economically-viable.
Further, it was mentioned that the state’s government had sanctioned 170 lakh during 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, while 100 lakh was earmarked for 2016-2017.
With the sanctioned amount of 170 lakh, the NSMDC procured a gang-saw machine with 40 blades, a gantry crane, and a mono-block-dresser. Works are in progress for their installation at the DDSP in Wazeho, it was informed.