CEC Meet on Illegal Mining: State Ready With Defence
Published: 24th April 2014 09:20 AM | Last Updated: 24th April 2014 09:20 AM | A+A A-
With the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) seeking details on illegal mining cases in the State, the State Government on Wednesday prepared its defence at a high level meeting here.
The meeting chaired by Chief Secretary JK Mohapatra discussed different aspects of illegal mining activities and the report to be placed before the CEC which is meeting in Delhi on Thursday, official sources said.
The Supreme Court on Monday had asked the Centre, State Government and the CEC to explain the allegations made in a PIL on widespread illegal mining activities.
In its April 21 letter to the Chief Secretary, the CEC had asked for a detailed information on the mining leases. A crucial meeting of the CEC is scheduled on Thursday in which Mohapatra and some other senior officers will participate.
The CEC has sought details of mining leases from the State Government operating with or without statutory approvals, official sources said.
The CEC was also asked to submit a report on the probable interim orders that could be issued by the apex court to deal with the problems posed by illegal mining in the State.
The Supreme Court has asked the CEC to report on illegalities such as mining without statutory clearances like environment clearance, forest clearance or on deemed extension. The next date of hearing on the PIL is April 28.
In its earlier reports, the CEC had stated that mining activities were going on in a large number of mines in the State without necessary approvals under Forest (Conservation) Act, environmental clearances and air and water Acts. The mining activities also exceeded production limit as approved under the mining plans.
The CEC had also pointed out the misuse of deemed extension clause in under Rules 24-A (6) of Mineral Concession Rules-1960.
Many in the mining industries apprehend that the State may face the fate of Karnataka and Goa where mining was banned. The States had to face temporary mining ban before being allowed to resume under safeguards. The Justice MB Shah Commission had given a scathing report against the State Government on the illegal mining.
In its five-volume report, the Shah Commission has made several recommendations including auction of mining leases to maximise revenues. The commission had also recommended for a cap on mining in the interest of environmental sustainability and inter-generational equity.