Government laxity behind Odisha illegal mining: CEC

Mining, Top News

Bhubaneswar, Oct 17 (IANS) The Supreme Court-appointed CEC, which submitted its final report on illegal mining in Odisha to the court Friday, has indicted the state for its laxity in governance, leading to violation of acts, rules and guidelines.

The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) said: “The senior officers of the state government from the Chief Secretary downwards cannot escape responsibility for such wholesale and brazen violation of the acts, rules and guidelines and the directions of this Hon’ble Court and also towards lax governance.”
The report said the entire production without/in excess of the statutory approvals has been transported under the Transit Permits issued by the officers concerned of the state government and that too after payment of royalty at the applicable rates.
While many mining lease holders have excavated iron ore and manganese without environment clearance or beyond environment clearance, the CEC has recommended recovery of 30 percent of the notional value of the iron and manganese produced by each of the lessees without/in excess of the environmental clearances.
It also said that the lessee concerned and the officers will continue to be liable for action under the provisions of the respective acts.
The CEC said the compensation may be directed to be paid within three months.
From 2000-01 to 2010-11, a total quantity of 2130.988 lakh MT of iron and 24.129 lakh MT of manganese have been produced without environmental clearance/beyond environmental clearance in the state.
While 14 lessees have produced more than 50 lakh MT of iron and manganese without/in excess of environmental clearances, nine have produced between 25 lakh MT to 50 lakh MT of iron and manganese.
The 14 lessees, who have produced above 50 lakh MT of iron and/or manganese without/in excess of the environmental clearances include OMC Ltd. (a government of Odisha undertaking), BPME Ltd. (a government of India Undertaking) and companies belonging to some well-known corporates Like Tata Group and Aditya Birla Group, said the report.
As many as 13 lessees have produced between 10 lakh MT and 25 lakh MT of iron and manganese without/in excess of environmental clearance and 36 lessees have produced up to 10 lakh MT of iron and manganese.

Last modified: October 17, 2014