Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 25:
The inter-departmental committee that met at the state secretariat here today to examine the status of 11 closed iron ore mines in Odisha before recommending their reopening found that none of the mines had statutory clearances.
The committee, headed by development commissioner U N Behera, found during its deliberations that none of these mines had statutory clearances to oerate and all of them were non-captive mines, said Deepak Mohanty, director (Mines) briefing newsmen after the meeting.
“The status of the 11 closed mines were placed before the inter-departmental committee headed by the development commissioner today. The committee deliberated on the validity of extending the lease of these mines under the new provisions of the MMDR Act 2015 that came into force on January 12 this year. The committee discussed threadbare the conditions under which renewals can be given to these mines. The government will decide on it. These mines are non-working and were closed for not having statutory clearances and other reasons. They are non-working and are yet to get statutory clearances. All of these are non-captive iron ore mines,” said Mohanty.
He said if these mines had necessary statutory clearances, their reopening would have been easier. The government will be apprised of the findings at the meeting and it will take a call on it, Mohanty added.
It may be mentioned here that the state government had on April 18 extended the lease period of 26 mines and issued orders to the companies to execute supplementary lease deeds within three months following approval of the recommendations by the inter-departmental committee by the Chief Minister.
At its meeting on April 4, the inter-departmental committee on mining had recommended to the state government extension of the lease period of 26 closed mines in the state, which had not violated lease terms. The committee had recommended reopening of these 26 closed mines in accordance with the provisions of the amended MMDR ACT 2015.