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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Enforcement Directorate to probe illegal mining in Orissa

M B Shah Commission in its report found that as many as 38 leaseholders of iron ore and manganese mines encroached on at least 306.33 hectare.

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneshwar | Published: November 17, 2014 3:54:01 am

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to probe the cases where several leaseholders mined outside their sanctioned areas by encroaching on forest and non-forest land.

In a recent letter to Orissa government, the ED asked it to list all cases of illegal mining taken up for probe by the state vigilance department, copies of FIRs and chargesheets, beside details of movable and immovable properties acquired from the proceeds of illegal mining.

ED Special Director Yogesh Gupta in the letter to Chief Secretary Gokul Pati noted that during a meeting in August vice-chairman of SIT on black money Arijit Pasayat had apprised the agency about the largescale illegal mining.

The ED also asked for a nodal officer from the vigilance department for coordination, a vehicle with driver and PSO, an inspector, two sub-inspectors and four constables to be attached with the Bhubaneswar zonal office for six months to help the probe.

The M B Shah Commission, which probed the mining scam in Orissa, in its report October last year found that as many as 38 leaseholders of iron ore and manganese mines encroached on at least 306.33 hectare. Some of the faltering leaseholders named in the report were Tata Steel, Essel Mining and Industries, MGM Minerals, Serrajuddin and Co, S N Dasmohapatra, Patnaik Minerals and K J S Ahluwalia.

The SIT on black money has already started probing the mining scam, asking the Orissa government to find out about 8 mining leaseholders which mined 2.27 million tonnes of iron ore without environment clearances between 1994 and 2012. It has also asked the Central Board of Central Excise to find out whether duties have been levied on the leaseholders with penalty and interest.

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