‘Quarry Management System’ software to be developed
The operation of granite quarries in the State is to come under surveillance of closed circuit television cameras. Activities in the quarries and movement of granite slabs will be monitored through CCTV from the headquarters of Tamil Nadu Minerals Limited (TAMIN) in Chennai, Industries Minister P. Thangamani informed the Assembly on Friday.
Replying to the debate on the demands for grants for his department, Mr. Thangamani said software called ‘Quarry Management System,’ would be developed to enhance the management efficiency of granite quarries. He announced an allocation of Rs 40 lakh to TAMIN for the purpose.
Two hydraulic drilling machines would be procured at a cost of Rs 1.8 crore to improve the productivity of granite quarries and prevent environment pollution caused by granite dust while drilling.
Preparation of online mining tenement registry was in progress in Coimbatore, Salem and Tirunelveli districts, (The registry is an information system in which details of mining leases are displayed online in GIS-based maps. The maps can be used to find out illegal mining in any part of the State.) The registry is being prepared for leasehold and mineral bearing villages of Coimbatore, Salem, Tirunelveli, Ariyalur, Krishnagiri, Madurai, Tiruchi, Villupuram and Virudhunagar districts.
The mineral revenue for the State recorded an all-time high in 2012-13 because of “effective and diligent measures taken” by the Department of Geology and Mining. From Rs 2.83 crore in 1983-84, it shot to Rs 941.64 crore in 2012-13, the Minister said. Revenue from granite went up from Rs 47.37 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 79 crore in 2012-13. Income from Madurai granite quarries accounted for Rs 9.01 in 2010-11 and Rs 11.12 crore in 2012 (till July).
TAMIN proposed to set up manufactured sand (M-sand) factories in four different parts of the State, on the basis of a technical study made by ITCOT Consultancy and Services, through public-private partnership.
It would also increase the production capacity of the Indian Standard Sand Unit at Ennore. The Minister said that TAMIN had initiated action for preparation of a detailed project report, with technical assistance from the Institute of Metals and Minerals Technology, Bhubaneshwar, for modernising the graphite unit in Sivaganga. The capacity of the plant would be augmented on the basis of local and export demand.