KOIDA ( SUNDARGARH ): The four-member team of the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on illegal mining visited the JN Patnaik and AMTC mines in Koida mining circle of Sundargarh district for spot verification on Monday.
The team arrived at the JN Patnaik mines in Bhanjapali and then moved to the adjacent AMTC (Aryan Mining & Trading Corporation) mines at Narayanposhi.
It sought clarification on some issues raised by the MB Shah Commission against the two lessees like mineral extraction beyond the permitted areas and forest norm violations.
The team was apprised that the issue of mining beyond the permitted areas was sub-judice and cases were filed for forest norms violations.
The team led by PV Jayakrishna and comprising Mahendra Vyas, SK Pattnaik and MK Mutthu, was accompanied by Director of Mines, Dipak Mohanty; Regional Chief Conservator of Forest, SC Swain; Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia; Regional Controller of Indian Bureau of Mines, Mantu Biswas; Deputy Director of Mines for Koida, Mihir Senapati and Bonai DFO Santosh Banchchhor.
They sought clarification about the AMTC’s crusher being set up beyond its mining lease area.
The two lessees, JN Patnaik and AMTC Managing Director Naman Saraf, claimed that they were not given any opportunity by the Shah Commission to present their position and appropriate replies were submitted to the Odisha Government.
Patnaik and Saraf were advised to submit their replies before the CEC team on July 22 at Delhi.
Director of Mines, Dipak Mohanty, said the team selected some mines for spot verification to cross-check information provided by the Odisha Government earlier. He claimed that after spot assessment, the team found no mismatch and returned satisfied.
Meanwhile, the CITU-affiliated Sundargarh Mines and Transport Workers’ Union submitted a memorandum to the team to ensure early restoration of productions at closed mines. It claimed that due to prolonged closure of a majority of mines at Koida, around 10,000 direct jobs were lost while nearly 40,000 indirect workers were forced to sit idle. Only 17 of the total 70 mines at Koida are functioning at present.