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Assam on iron ore map of country

By Spl correspondent

NEW DELHI, June 24 � For the first time ever, the Ministry of Mines has given an iron ore reserve in Dhubri on �prospective lease� to a private mining company, putting Assam on iron ore map of the country.

Though the iron ore found in the district is believed to be of poor quality, the Ministry is trying it out on an experimental basis with high hopes. �While working on silica sand, traces of iron ore was found in Dhubri. We are examining it and initial reports are positive. It could be huge in volume,� he said.

The iron ore deposits in the region are found to contain a low proportion (41 per cent and below) of iron. Besides, a very large quantity of ore has also not been found to be located at one place. Based on survey conducted by the Ministry, explorations have found iron ores deposits �in Dhubri district in an around the hills of Bilasipara, especially at Chandardinga hills. Its estimated reserve is put at 17 million tonnes.

Some reserve is also found in the foothills of Meghalaya adjoining Kamrup and Goalpara districts and in Garo Hills area.

Briefing newsmen, Union Minister for DoNER and Mines, Bijoy Krishna Handique said that efforts are on to exploit the silica sand reserve by setting up a glass factory in Assam. However, he admitted that they are yet to receive any application from manufacturers of glass. A study by the Geological Survey� of India (GSI) has confirmed silica sand reserves in Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Meanwhile, the Ministry DoNER has moved for revision of the cost estimate of North East State Road Project to $ 362.5 million. Handique was briefing about the three special externally-aided projects initiated by the Ministry of DoNER.

The (NESRP), an Asian Development Bank (ADB) Project, is being executed by the Ministry at an estimated cost of Rs 1500 crore. The other two projects include the North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project for Upland Areas (NERCORMP) and North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP), a World Bank-aided project.

Giving an update on implementation of the NESRP, Handique said currently the loan appraisal mission of ADB is in progress, while loan negotiations between the external aid agency and Government of India are scehduled some time July. The sanction of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and Planning Commission is also awaited.

The Ministry has moved a proposal for the revised cost estimates to the tune of $ 362.5 million to the Department of Expenditure for its clearance, the Minister confirmed.

He said Chief Secretaries of the State Governments of the North-east in general and Assam in particular have been asked to acquire land for the project. The land acquisition involved is, however, minimal, except in case of Assam, where a significant amount of land under right of way (RoW) needs to be acquired, Handique said.

Tranche- I States of Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim have been requested to do the budgeting for land acquisition and resettlement. The States have to bear the expenditure, according to funding pattern of NESRP, he added.

As for the status of the NERLP, the Minister revealed that a World Bank team has already visited Assam, while another is visiting Tripura next month. The Ministry of DoNER has already invited expression of interest and shortlisted consultants for award of studies in environmental and social assessments, besides livelihood studies.

As for the status of NERCORMP-I, the first phase of the project cost is Rs 166.25 crore and is jointly funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and North Eastern Council (NEC) and Ministry of DoNER. In the first phase, at least two districts of Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya are proposed to be covered.

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Assam on iron ore map of country

NEW DELHI, June 24 � For the first time ever, the Ministry of Mines has given an iron ore reserve in Dhubri on �prospective lease� to a private mining company, putting Assam on iron ore map of the country.

Though the iron ore found in the district is believed to be of poor quality, the Ministry is trying it out on an experimental basis with high hopes. �While working on silica sand, traces of iron ore was found in Dhubri. We are examining it and initial reports are positive. It could be huge in volume,� he said.

The iron ore deposits in the region are found to contain a low proportion (41 per cent and below) of iron. Besides, a very large quantity of ore has also not been found to be located at one place. Based on survey conducted by the Ministry, explorations have found iron ores deposits �in Dhubri district in an around the hills of Bilasipara, especially at Chandardinga hills. Its estimated reserve is put at 17 million tonnes.

Some reserve is also found in the foothills of Meghalaya adjoining Kamrup and Goalpara districts and in Garo Hills area.

Briefing newsmen, Union Minister for DoNER and Mines, Bijoy Krishna Handique said that efforts are on to exploit the silica sand reserve by setting up a glass factory in Assam. However, he admitted that they are yet to receive any application from manufacturers of glass. A study by the Geological Survey� of India (GSI) has confirmed silica sand reserves in Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura.

Meanwhile, the Ministry DoNER has moved for revision of the cost estimate of North East State Road Project to $ 362.5 million. Handique was briefing about the three special externally-aided projects initiated by the Ministry of DoNER.

The (NESRP), an Asian Development Bank (ADB) Project, is being executed by the Ministry at an estimated cost of Rs 1500 crore. The other two projects include the North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project for Upland Areas (NERCORMP) and North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP), a World Bank-aided project.

Giving an update on implementation of the NESRP, Handique said currently the loan appraisal mission of ADB is in progress, while loan negotiations between the external aid agency and Government of India are scehduled some time July. The sanction of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and Planning Commission is also awaited.

The Ministry has moved a proposal for the revised cost estimates to the tune of $ 362.5 million to the Department of Expenditure for its clearance, the Minister confirmed.

He said Chief Secretaries of the State Governments of the North-east in general and Assam in particular have been asked to acquire land for the project. The land acquisition involved is, however, minimal, except in case of Assam, where a significant amount of land under right of way (RoW) needs to be acquired, Handique said.

Tranche- I States of Assam, Meghalaya and Sikkim have been requested to do the budgeting for land acquisition and resettlement. The States have to bear the expenditure, according to funding pattern of NESRP, he added.

As for the status of the NERLP, the Minister revealed that a World Bank team has already visited Assam, while another is visiting Tripura next month. The Ministry of DoNER has already invited expression of interest and shortlisted consultants for award of studies in environmental and social assessments, besides livelihood studies.

As for the status of NERCORMP-I, the first phase of the project cost is Rs 166.25 crore and is jointly funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and North Eastern Council (NEC) and Ministry of DoNER. In the first phase, at least two districts of Assam, Manipur and Meghalaya are proposed to be covered.