The Odisha government on Monday suspended operations in seven mines that failed to pay penalties by December 31 for illegal extraction of iron and manganese ores between 2000 and 2011.
The Supreme Court had on August 2 imposed a penalty on 150-odd iron and manganese ore lessees in the State for environment clearance violations. The Odisha government had issued demand notices to the lease owners to pay compensation to the tune of Rs. 17,576.17 crore for mining of 215.5 million tonnes of iron and manganese ores.
“Of the Rs. 17,576.17 crore penalty, the government has received over Rs. 8,223 crore,” said Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick. Only 72 defaulters were able to meet the deadline, he said.
The government will submit a status report on fine collection to a Central Empowered Committee, appointed by the Supreme Court, in two to three days, director of mines Dipak Mohanty said. The mines that were served notices included State-run PSU IDCOL’s Roida mine, ESSEL’s Koira mine, Mideast’s Roida mine and Serajuddin Co’s Balda mine.