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Indian iron ore mining mess - Odisha has changed tracks
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Sunday, 18 Nov 2012

Express India reported that from being a soporific department under which miners had a free run in the state’s ore rich hinterland, the Odisha’s Steel and Mines Department has suddenly changed tack and is showing a fresh burst of energy.

The biggest example of this was the INR 76,000 odd crore penalty levied recently on companies for extracting ore in excess of set limits and violating environmental laws over the past 10 years.

But activists seeking a CBI inquiry said that the government has deliberately left loopholes in the penalty order to let the violators go scotfree. They said that for example it hasn’t cancelled the lease of miners who violated their lease conditions, which it could have done, and instead levied fines, which it may not have the authority to do under environment laws.

Besides, the government is silent on the role played by officials of the Orissa Pollution Control Board, the deputy directors of mines, Indian Bureau of Mines and Forest and Environment Department in the excess mining.

The department also ordered that those waiting for their mining lease to be renewed should restrict production to their captive requirement and that areas which had not been leased out would be given to state run Orissa Mining Corporation.

Source - Express India


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