New Delhi, Oct 21: The Central Empowered Committee has told the Supreme Court that there has been "substantial" delay on part of Odisha Government in taking a decision for renewal of mining leases and some are pending for the last 40 years.
In its latest report on the state of mining in Odisha, the apex court-appointed panel said the state Government should come out with a clear policy regarding the second and subsequent renewal of the mining leases.
Referring to the new norm, the committee in its 178-page report said, "The earlier practice of keeping the decisions regarding the renewal of the mining leases pending for decades and continuing of mining operations in the mining leases during such periods is no more permissible".
Under new rule, unless a decision for renewal of mining lease is taken by the state Government and is executed before the expiry of the sanctioned lease period, the mining operations in such mining lease will have to be stopped except when the mining lease is under first renewal and which may continue to operate for a maximum period of next two years.
"The CEC, in the above background, is of the view that it is essential that the State Government ensure that a timely decision regarding the first renewal of the mining leases are taken," it said, adding, "the State Government should come out with a clear policy regarding the second and subsequent renewal of the mining leases".
It said around 2131 lakh MT of iron and 24 lakh MT of manganese of notional value of Rs 17576 crore have been produced without necessary environmental clearance by mining companies in Odisha during 2000 to 2011.