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Odisha govt ready to renew leases of 5 out of 26 mines closed after SC order


Reported by Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar, May 19:

After the Supreme Court imposed a limited ban on mining in Odisha, the state government has worked overtime to expedite the process of renewal of mining leases of some iron ore and manganese deposits, which are facing closure, reportedly to ensure a steady supply of raw material to the industrial sector.

JK Mohapatra, Chief Secretary
JK Mohapatra, Chief Secretary

“The high-level committee has already recommended renewal of five of the 26 mines operating under the deemed extension clause in Odisha. The cases of remaining 21 mines are under active consideration of the committee,” Chief Secretary J K Mohapatra told reporters here.

However, the five mines, whose lease would be renewed, have been asked to obtain full forest clearance, pay the penalty imposed for excess mining and meet the local requirements under PESA before they can resume operation in their mines.

It is to be noted that the SC in its interim order, pronounced last week, had said that 26 companies who were on their second renewal will have to stop all operations and apply to the state government afresh for the grant of licenses. The order also directed the state government to a ‘reasoned’ decision on these applications within a period of six months.