Clash with ruling party members ultimately resulted in walkout by Congress legislators

The state government on Monday faced heat in the assembly over the controversial issue of mapping of mine lease boundaries with the Opposition Congress alleging that the DGPS (differential global positioning system) survey has exposed the state’s complicity in loot of minerals. The clash with the ruling party members ultimately resulted in walkout by the Congress legislators

State says IBM report on 'mineral development' not binging

The Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) has sought from the Odisha government the details of 24 mining leases, which are awaiting extension of the validity period of the leases, before giving its recommendation whether the leases should be renewed in the interest of 'mineral development'. The communication from IBM is in contrast with October 2012 executive order of the state government, which asserted that the state is empowered to take a decision about 'mineral development' while processing renewal application.

PANJIM: The State government is likely to terminate the leases of 40 mines, whose delay in filing the ‘J Form’ was condoned by the former Congress government.

Directorate of Mines and Geology on September 15, 2012 had issued show cause notices to 40 mining firms, to explain why action should not be initiated against them for unlawful condonation of delay and why the leases should not be declared as null and void.

The Odisha government has agreed to form a committee to look into lease area encroachment by mine lease holders after getting direction from Shah Commission to this effect. The committee is scheduled to start functioning from March 4 and submit its report soon.

Illegal mining enquiry agency, Justice M B Shah Commission on Wednesday had asked the state government to form a committee to demarcate lease areas of different miners after they complained that the maps being referred by the Commission and the state government were not accurate.
"The committee will have seven members including representative from the state government, Shah Commission and Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM)," Shah said.

This recent CAG audit report on receipts and royalties from mining in Chhattisgarh for the period period 2006-07 to 2010-11 reveals that a large number of stone crusher leases were operating without environmental consent.

The members of Shah Commission, enquiring into illegal mining activities, will reach Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

The fifth round of hearing of the state government and the miners by the Commission is expected to take place from Wednesday after Justice M B Shah reaches here. A team of the state officials including steel and mines secretary, will present their views in front of the panel members. They will be assisted by three Supreme Court advocates,

The Union mines ministry also advised the state govt to withdraw its resolution dated October 3 and 12 which goes against the interest of local miners.

Three resolutions of the Odisha government to impose unprecedented curbs on mining activity and triggering a legal tussle between the government and the mine lessees have come across a central government wall.

The ministry of mines has asked it to scrap all the three resolutions, saying they breach mining laws. Through these resolutions, the state steel and mines department sought to achieve a three-pronged objective. One, reserving all the remaining mineral-bearing areas (not leased to any private entity) in favour of its company, the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC). Two, making it mandatory for standalone iron ore miners to sell at least half their output to state-based industries. Three, restricting the area of a private lease at the time of renewal.

The Odisha government has allowed miners working under special conditions after expiry of lease validity to sell iron ore raised before October 2012 in the open market, which traders say would boost supply by around 10 million tonnes (mt).

"The lifting of the restriction would enable miners to sell iron ore and fines stacked since October, which would be somewhere between nine and 10 mt. It’s a welcome step and will boost ore availability for steel makers,” said Prabodh Mohanty, a spokesperson for the East Zone Miners' Association.

New Delhi: Says state didn’t comply with SC order on grant of iron ore

Bhushan Power & Steel (BPSL) has asked the Supreme Court to initiate contempt proceedings against the Orissa government for failing to comply with the apex court’s order that asked it to recommend BPSL’s case for grant of iron ore reserves to the Central government. The compamy needed the iron ore reserves for the company’s 2.8- million-tonne integrated steel plant at Lapanga.

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