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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 12:

The Odisha government has finally executed lease deeds for mining in 18 mining blocks in the state for a period of 50 years.

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For the first time, Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) has been granted the lease for mining of bauxite.

The state exchequer has already earned about Rs 500 crore as revenue in the execution of these leases.

Further, the state government will earn royalty and accruals in District Mineral Foundation (DMF) from these mines.

The 18 mining blocks for which lease deeds were executed include seven iron ore, two manganese, one each of bauxite and chromite, five gemstone and two limestone mining blocks.

Extraction of minerals from these allocated blocks will begin after obtaining of the statutory environment and forest clearance under the New Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act-2015.

The New MMDR Act came into force on January 12, 2015. Under the new Act, Central government had allowed for leasing out of 62 mining blocks in the state.

However, applications for grant of mining lease of the remaining 44 blocks lapsed as they required statutory clearances.

Now the fate of these remaining 44 blocks depends on the verdict of the court since the applicants had moved court.

“Some applicants have moved the Orissa High Court. In my knowledge, they have got protection from the court that till the next date of hearing their lease applications will remain status quo and will not lapse. Now their fate remains on the final verdict of the court,” Probodh Mohanty, President Purbanchal Khani Malik Sangh.