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Odisha govt likely to submit report on mining to CEC today

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Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 22:

The Odisha government is likely to submit a detailed report today on mining activities and violation of rules by the lease holders in the state to the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) inquiring into illegal mining in Odisha.

Mines MiningThe government, which failed to meet its own deadline i.e. July 21, is preparing the report and is expected to submit it by the evening. The Steel and Mines department had held a meeting on Monday evening with the Forest department officials for the final draft of the report.

A meeting of the officials of both the departments officials is once again being held today at the chamber of Steel and Mines secretary at the State Secretariat.

This ‘co-ordination meeting’ was necessary because the Forest department was not able to furnish the required information about violation of Forest rules and the action taken report to the Mines department in time.

Sources said the Mining department is expected to submit the report by this evening to the CEC.

The SC appointed panel had asked the state government to provide relevant data on mineral extraction and other details on the mines lease holders who have been accused of violating the rules and regulations, for the preparation of its final report to the apex court.

Meanwhile, the meeting of the CEC team with the miners has been cancelled folowing the government’s failure to submit the report in time.

The CEC had asked for more data from the state government before its scheduled meeting with the accused leaseholders in New Delhi on July 23 and 24.

Now, the meeting is expected to be held in the last week of July after the current budget session of the Assembly is over.

“The meeting with miners has been cancelled since the state government did not submit the report to the CEC. The meeting is expected to be held by the end of July,” said Prabodh Mohanty, secretary of EZMA.

The CEC was instructed by the Supreme Court in April this year to submit details on the status of illegal mining in Odisha while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL).