BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) has slapped showcause notice on 30 mines of the State for operating without the statutory ‘Consent to Operate’.
As per the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, the Board will levy a fine for operation of mines without the consent. The penalty is equivalent to twice the consent fee which is calculated based on area and type of mines.
The Board has found that as many as 198 mines had operated in the past without the Consent to Operate.
It was in 2006 that the OSPCB brought all the mines in the State under its consent administration and Consent to Operate was granted to the existing mines for a period of five years.
Later, the Board learnt that many of the mines have augmented their production without obtaining environmental clearance (EC) from the Government of India. As a follow- up action, after March 2011, while granting the Consent to Operate, the Board restricted the production to the quantity for which the mines already have EC and advised them to obtain EC for the increased quantity.
“In the first phase, 30 mines have been issued showcause and the cases of the rest of the mines will be taken up soon,” the Board sources said.