The Odisha government today asked different departments to prepare action plan for development of mining-affected areas in eight districts. The direction was issued by chief secretary A P Padhi who presided at a meeting today. It also came a time when the government had collected Rs 8,290 crore as penalty from illegal mining activities.
Padhi said the funds collected as mining penalty would be utilized through the Odisha Mineral Bearing Area Development Corporation (OMBADC), a special agency that had been constituted by the state government to usher in development in the affected areas.
Of the total target of Rs 17,576 crore, the state government could collect only Rs 8,290 crore from mine owners who were found indulging in illegal mining activities from 2000-2001 to 2010-2011.
Padhi said Rs 8,290 crore would be spent through a special purpose vehicle for the development of the areas directly or indirectly hit by the mining activities.
As directed by the Supreme Court, the amount will be utilised for construction of roads, strengthening of drinking water supply system, providing electricity connection and construction of houses for people in mining affected districts, Padhi said.
The state government has identified 691 villages under 30 blocks of eight districts where money would be spent through the corporation. The districts were: Angul, Dhenkanal, Jajpur, Jharsuguda, Keonjhar, Koraput, Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh.
Padhi said the state government would on January 17 file a status report in the Supreme Court on the amount collected from mine owners and the state’s plan to spend the amount for the development of the areas hit by illegal mining.