Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar/ New Delhi, May 16
In an interim order a three member bench of the Supreme Court on Friday asked for a limited mining ban in Odisha, affecting only lessees who have been operating on deemed renewals for a second time and more.
The three judge bench comprising justices AK Patnaik, SS Nijjar and FMI Kalifullah said in their order that 26 companies who were on their second renewal will now have to stop all operations and apply to the state government for the grant of license. The state government is supposed to decide on these applications within a period of six months based on ‘reasoning’, the order said.
As of now 14 lessees who are operating after first renewal will be permitted to continue mining. Another 16 lessees who have already been granted leases by the state can also operate, said the court order.
However, as many as 102 leases listed by the central empowered committee, as not working for not having environmental clearances, will not allowed to operate. Also 29 leases which have lapsed or or their clearances rejected can not operate until they receive clearances.
The Economic Times in its report has said “Odisha seems to have ” benefitted from the earlier experience of the court in Karnataka and Goa in which the court banned mining completely only to find that resuming it after clearances takes time. The economic impact seems to weight heavy with the court acknowledging concerns by the steel ministry it would slow down the economy,”