Dr Jitendra takes up Kishtwar Sapphire Mines project at high level meeting

NEW DELHI, July 31 : Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences, MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today took up the issue of Kishtwar Sapphire Mines Project in the Paddar area at a high level Governing Body meeting of the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET).
The meeting was also attended by Union Minister of Mines Prahlad Joshi, Minister of Oil & Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri, Ministers of Mines from different States,Union Secretary Mines Alok and senior officers of Govt of India.
Dr Jitendra Singh observed that even though the project had been conceived many years ago, it has somehow not received the priority that it deserves. He said, once the project gets going, it will result in huge commercial benefit from Sapphire resources, which will not only enrich Kishtwar but prove to be a hugely valuable asset for the entire Jammu & Kashmir.
Referring to his recent interactions with the UT Government of Jammu & Kashmir which had expressed certain constraints in going ahead with the project, Dr Jitendra Singh requested the Minister of Mines, Prahalad Joshi to personally intervene and find out the most feasible way to move ahead.
The meeting of the National Mineral Exploration Trust (NMET) took an overview of the activities of NMET including the details of funds and expenditure. In the meeting, it was informed that as a part of its outreach programme, NMET is organising a series of workshops on enhancing exploration through ‘NMET’ to assist and empower States in harnessing their respective mineral potentials.
The Governing Body also proposed National level awards for the States for performance in increasing mineral production in the country. An award of Rs 3 cr, 2 cr and 1 cr will be given in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize category respectively.
The Ministers present in the meeting were briefed, State by State, about the number of projects, the approved cost, the expenditure and the mineral commodity involved with each project. Suggestion for annulment of tripartite agreement with Mineral Exploration Corporation Limited (MECL) also came up for discussion.