Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 3:
A three-member team of the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) will arrive in Odisha on Tuesday to probe the nexus between the Sarada mines and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL).
The CEC team, led by its chairman PV Jayakrishnan, will visit the Thakurani mines belonging to Sarada Mines Ltd at Barbil during its four-day visit and hold talks with the concerned state government officials about various facets of the case, sources said. Member secretary M K Jiwrajka and member Mahendra Vyas will accompany Jayakrishnan.
The CEC will inquire into the alleged violation of Rule-37 of the Mineral Concession Rules-1960 by Sarda Mines Ltd, which has been accused of selling its entire run of mine (ROM) produce to JSPL without any written agreement. Also, the sale of iron ore by the lessee took place at unacceptably low rates when compared to market prices.
Besides, the CEC team will also discuss the setting up of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for periphery development of the mines area with state government officials including chief secretary JK Mohapatra.
According to the recommendation of CEC, 50% of the additional Net Present Value (NPV) collected from mining lease holders is to be utilised for inclusive growth and development of mineral areas. However, the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) is yet to give its approval for the SPV.
Recently, chief minister Naveen Patnaik had written a letter to the MoEF to grant approval for the tribal sub-plan to improve the condition of tribals in the mining areas.
During its visit to Odisha,The Justice M B Shah Commission of inquiry had found many irregularities in the operations of Thakurani mines spread over 947 hectares of the Thakurani reserved forest.