State

Only Rs 8,062 crore mining fine collected in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Despite the Supreme Court's deadline for collection of illegal mining fines by 31 December 2017, the State Government has so far collected only about Rs 8,062 crore against the targeted amount of Rs 17,576.17 crore.

The Odisha Government collected the amount from mining leaseholders' as compensation for illegally extracting iron and manganese ore between 2000-01 and 2010-11.

However, the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), appointed by the Supreme Court to probe illegal mining in Odisha, had calculated the figure for excess mining beyond the limits approved under (EC) at Rs 17,576.17 crore.

'The exact amount paid by the leaseholders can be known on January 1 as the final figure would take some time to reconcile in the  account', said a senior official in the Steel and Mines Department.

State PSU, Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Tata Steel, Rungta,  Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Indrani Patnaik, Kaypee Enterprises, Aryan Mining and Trading Corporation and Tarini Minerals and K N Ram are the mining majors who have paid compensation.

According to sources, OMC has already paid its penalty Rs 2,177.97 crore.

The mining leaseholders had illegally extracted 215.5 million tonnes of iron and manganese ore between 2000-01 and 2010-11 violating forest and environment norms, a source informed.

The Supreme Court in a judgment on 2 August 2017 had directed the Odisha Government to collect the cost of excess extraction from the defaulting miners.

Leaseholders stepped up efforts to deposit the penalty amount with the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) after the Supreme Court recently ruled out any extension in deadline and also rejected the appeal for payments in installments.

A SPV, OMBADC has been formed to step up developmental works in the Mining zones of the State. Collected funds will be utilized for the purpose.

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