Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, May 14:
The Odsiha High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the Centre and state government on their failure to collect Net Present Value (NPV) of Rs 715 crore towards diversion of forest land for non-forest use from the miners.
The division bench of acting Chief Justice Pradeep Mohanty and Justice Biswajit Mohanty directed the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Odisha Chief Secretary and forest and environment secretary to furnish their reply to the court within four weeks on non-realisation of the dues from the mining companies.
Hearing a PIL filed by Global Human Rights Communication executive director Subhash Mohapatra, the court sought a reply on allegations that at least 106 of the 111 mining lease holders working in the state have not paid NPV to the tune of Rs 715 crore.
The petitioner has alleged that the miners are not responding to the notices of the forest and environment department. Despite drawing the attention of Odisha chief secretary on December 8, 2014, no concrete steps have been taken for realisation of the amount, the petitioner alleged.
Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), Posco India Ltd are among the list of defaulters, the petitioner pointed out in the court.
It may be mentioned here that NPV is the amount mining lease holders have to deposit for diversion of forest land for non-forestry purpose, as per the Supreme Court guidelines issued in 2002.