Opening of Umarsar mine gives a new lease of life to North West corner of Gujarat

Bhuj

Arid and sleepy Lakhpat is the last corner of Gujarat. It’s located in northern most part of Gujarat, close to international border with Pakistan.

People of Lakhpat belt are happy for last couple of days. They are happy because the state government has made Umarsar lignite mine functional.This has sparked off lot of activities here. The area feels connected again with rest of the country through moving wheels of trucks.

Gujarat Mineral Development Corporation(GMDC) run Umarsar mine was opened by state government on Friday. On first day, Umarsar mine witnessed loading of 82 trucks. On its peak, Umarsar mine is likely to witness daily loading of 300 trucks which will bring daily 1,000 trucks here. In initial phase, 200 trucks are likely to be loaded ever day. Annual transport is estimated at 10 lakh mt. As per an estimate Umarsar mine has 28 mt lignite and 22 mt is suitable to be achieved through mining. 3 mt stock will not be mined due to lack of forest department permission on Guneri side. Thus net achievable stock will be 19 million. 35 transporters are registered so far for transportation job.

Truck transport is third major option of employment in Kutch after agriculture and animal husbandry. In recent years, due to closure of Panandhro mine (aimed at keeping reserved stock of minerals) transport industry of Kutch had suffered major setback. Transporters hope, Umarsar mine will work as replacement of Panandhro.

Speaking at the opening function, all political leaders in one voice asked transporters to stay away from overloading of trucks because it causes damage to roads.

The government has assigned mining job to private firm BGR Mining and Infra Private Limited for five years. In first five years, the company will excavate over burden soil worth 65 mt. Umarsar mine’s life is 22 years. It is 2186.76 ha in size.

Public hearing for environment clearance was held for this project on 13 March 2009. Later various environment related clearances were pending, and therefore mining was delayed.

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