State

Illegal mining: Fine to be spent for development of mining-hit villages

Bhubaneswar: The penalty collected from illegal mine leaseholders will be spent towards development of 691 villages in eight mineral-bearing districts, informed Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick.

He said the fund will be spent through the Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC) as per the direction of the Supreme Court. The OMBADC was incorporated as a non-profit Government company in 2014 for carrying out development activities in the mining-affected areas.

Meanwhile, the State Government has served closure notice seven mine leaseholders following their failure to pay penalty by December 31, 2017.

December 31was the deadline to collect the penalty imposed by the Supreme Court against 152 iron ore and manganese lessees for illegal mining and the Government could only collect around Rs 8,200 crore as penalty from the mining lease holders against the demand of Rs 17,576 crore.

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