Rs 3,225.47 cr in water cess pending against Odisha industries

Bhubaneswar: Arrears of water cess amounting to Rs 3,225.47 crore are still pending against different industries and commercial organisations in the state, a minister said here on Thursday.

The government could not collect the arrears as several industries have moved different courts disputing the water cess imposed on them.

Replying to a written question, Water Resources Minister Raghunandan Das informed the state Assembly that industries, mines, and different organisations owed Rs 3,225.47 crore as water cess to the government by August 2019.

Of the total outstanding amount, pending water cess worth Rs 2461.57 crore is sub-judice in the courts, the Minister said.

The water cess is pending against a total of 590 industries, mines and commercial organisations including private and government organisations. Out of this, 20 private organisations and one government organisation have moved the courts.

The major industries which have moved the courts are South Eastern Railways (Jharsuguda), Tata Steel, Bellarpur Industries, Sewa Paper Mill, Tata Refractories Ltd, JK Corporation, Arati Steel, Sree Mahavir Ferro Alloys, Bhusan Power and Steel, Jindal Steel and Power, Vedanta Ltd and Paradeep Phosphates Ltd.

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Das said the government is taking steps for the quick disposal of the cases.

The Minister informed that a case has been filed in the Orissa High Court to collect 50 percent arrears from the organisations which have moved the courts.

He said Rs 203.94 crore water cess is pending against central and state public sector undertakings.

The state government has directed executive engineers to recover the pending dues from the defunct industries under the Odisha Public Demand Recovery Act, 1962. (IANS)

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