Bhubaneswar/Joda: Odisha government today served demand notices to 152 mining leaseholders for the collection of fine in connection with illegal mining.
According to reports, those served with demand notices include 47 mining leaseholders of Koida area.
Demand notices were served to the leaseholders for excess mining of minerals in violation of environmental clearances.
The leaseholders, who have been served notices in accordance of the August 2 direction of the Supreme Court, have been asked to deposit the fine amount on or before December 31 this year.
Demand notices have been served to mining leaseholders in the districts of Sundargarh, Mayurbhanj and Keonjhar.
The State government has served notice for collection of penalty to the tune of a little over Rs 17,500 crore.
The amount of fine has been calculated on the basis of the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) constituted by the Supreme Court.
The demand notice has explained in detail on how leaseholders will be depositing the fine amount with the State government.
On the other hand, Eastern Zonal Mining Association (EZMA) General Secretary Prabodh Mohanty in his reaction to the demand notices on the miners has said that they are likely to move the Supreme Court in the matter and seek an extension of the deadline for depositing the fine levied on them. They will also seek for payment of the fine amount in installments.
The BJP has strongly opposed the State government’s policy with regard to the collection of fine from mining leaseholders for illegal mining.
BJP workers today gheraoed the Mines Deputy Director’s office in Joda circle on this account. BJP’s state unit vice president Samir Mohanty and former state unit general secretary Manohar Sharma took part in the gherao programme. The BJP has alleged that the State government was hand-in-glove with the miners and was showing undue favour to them.
Notably, the State government imposed about Rs 60,000 crore penalties on mines for illegal mining from 2000 to 2010.
However, the Central Empowered Committee, appointed by the apex court, recommended that at least 30 per cent notional value may be realized from the mining companies.