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Illegal mining: HC serves notices on Odisha, central govts

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau

Cuttack, Aug 5:

The Odisha High Court has served notices to both the Union and state governments in the matter of illegal mineral extraction from the Narayanposi mines in Sundargarh district.

high courtHearing a PIL filed by advocate Dillip Kumar Mohapatra on behalf of Keonjhar Nabanirman Parishad on Monday alleging illegal mineral extraction from the Narayanposi mines, a High Court bench comprising acting chief Justice Pradip Mohanty and Justice Biswajit Mohanty served notices to secretary, Union ministry of Mines; secretary, department of Mines of the state government; Aryan Mines and Trading Corporation and Stemcor Holdings Limited.

The petitioner has stated that 394.254 hectare of Narayanposi mines were given to Aryan Mines and Trading Corporation on lease, which had expired on February 2, 2005. The company had applied for renewal of lease under the provisions of 24 (A) (1) of the Mineral Concession Rule.

On the other hand, a the state government had served a show cause to Aryan Mines and Trading Corporation on March 2, 2012 asking it to show cause why action should not be taken against the company after a committee appointed by the government found prima facie evidence of excess mining by it.

However, the state government sat on the matter after serving the show cause notice, the petitioner rued. No action was taken against the concerned company allowing it to continue with illegal extraction of minerals, the petition pointed out.

The petitioner has alleged that Aryan Mines and Trading Corporation has illegally transferred the mining lease to Stemcor Holdings Limited.

Petitioner Mohapatra has prayed before the High Court for an appropriate probe into the matter and criminal proceedings against the violators.

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