The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to cancel the limestone leases held by those who failed to set up cement units as per the schedule to make way for others. Chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who held a review meeting with the officials of mines and geology department on Saturday, asked them to send notices to those companies which delayed the execution of
cement units proposed by them.
“No more extension of time. Either they have to immediately start work on their project or forego their mining licences,” the chief minister was quoted as saying by the Chief Minister’s Office.
While 21 major and 15 mini-cement plants with an installed capacity of about 24.5Mt are currently in operation, proposals to set up new units as well as expanding the existing units are to the extent of more than the total installed capacity in the state.
With pressure building up for limestone deposits on the government from many new companies, the government now wants to take back the limestone leases from those who are simply sitting on them without going for the next logical step to give the same to whoever is ready to set up units immediately.