State

Govt gets ready to shut down mining companies

Bhubaneswar: After the SC dismissed the plea of Odisha miners' to extend the deadline for staggered payment of over Rs 17,576 crore of compensation for illegal mining, Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick today said that If the lessees would not pay the dues by December 31, mining operations would be suspended.

'If they (lessees) would not pay the dues by December 31, we will close the mining operation from January 1, 2018 as per the Supreme Court order,' said Mallick.

The Minister said out of the 147 lessees, against whom notice was slapped, only 54 lessees are operating now. Similarly, the closed mines would not get any clearances for further operations.

Meanwhile, after the dismissal of Essel mining company's plea by the Supreme Court today, they will have to deposit Rs 1800 crore with the State Government by December 31 in order to continue mining activities in Odisha.

On December 13, the Supreme Court dismissed the plea of Odisha miners' to extend the deadline for staggered payment of over Rs 17,576 crore of compensation for illegal mining.

As the State government had slapped demand notices worth Rs 17,576 crore against 136 lessees on the basis of the August 2 Supreme Court order, the lessees moved the apex court requesting it to extend the deadline. The lessees were asked to pay the amount by December 31.

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