Illegal Mining: 3 mining companies shut down, 7 served with notices

KalingaTV News Network

Bhubaneswar: At least three mining lessees in the state today stopped production after Odisha Government issued notices to seven of them to halt their operations after failing to deposit the ‘mining compensation’ by the December 31 deadline. The Supreme Court had slapped 100 per cent penalty on at least 46 mines operating in the state on August 2 for flouting environmental guidelines, mining outside lease/permitted area and for encroachment beyond the mining area.

Informing on the development Umesh Chandra Jena, Deputy Director Mines, Joda said those mining companies which have been asked to stop operation with effect from January 1 are Serajuddin & Co, Mesco and Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). While Serajuddin and Company holds an iron-ore mines at Balda, Mesco and IDC are running two separate mines in Keonjhar district.

The other defaulter lessees would be told to stop mining subsequently, sources say.

As per sources from the Mines Directorate, against a penalty of Rs 17,576.16 crore slapped against the errant mining companies in the state only around Rs 8,000 crore has been collected so far. Circle wise around Rs 4,318.96 crore has been collected from Joda along with Rs 2,500 crore from Koida and Rs 750 crore from Jajpur circles. Similarly, Rs 500 crore and Rs 120 crore have been collected from Baripada circles before the completion of the deadline.

The apex court while disposing of a writ petition filed by Common Cause in a case of rampant illegal mining in Odisha on August 2 ruled for the recovery of 100 per cent compensation in lieu of the excess ore lifted. The court considered 2000-01 as the base year for the purpose while giving the verdict.

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