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Orissa forms panel to verify mining records

The Orissa government has now constituted a five-member committee to verify the records of all the mines in the state....

Written by Debabrata Mohanty | Bhubaneswar |
April 21, 2010 10:32:11 pm

The Orissa government has now constituted a five-member committee to verify the records of all the mines in the state. The move comes after Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee,which is probing into allegations of forest law violations in several mines of Keonjhar and Sundargarh district in the multi-crore mining scam,had early this month asked the state government to submit its report on legality of mine leases and renewal of mining leases by May 10.

Of about 600 mine leases given out so far in the state,operations in more than 160 mines was suspended after allegations of a multi-crore mining scam came to the fore last year. A formal notification in this regard has been issued by the steel and mines department.

The committee,headed by the Director of Mines,would examine different aspects of mine leases and renewal of mining leases. It would comprise senior officials from the departments of forest,revenue,home,mines and a senior scientist from the pollution control board.

Recently,the Orissa government empowered the police of three mineral-rich Keonjhar,Mayurbhanj and Sundargarh to check illegal mining. Earlier,only senior officials of the mining department were authorised under the law to detect,seize and confiscate minerals.

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