BHUBANESWAR:With corporates not depositing the Net Present Value (NPV) for using forest land in the State, the matter has landed before the Orissa High Court.
A PIL, which has been filed before the High Court (HC), alleges that at least Rs 715 crore is outstanding against 111 corporates towards NPV.
In his petition, Subash Mohapatra of Global Human Rights Communications stated that the 111 corporates, mostly mining lease holders working in Odisha, have not paid the net present value despite the direction of the Central Empowered Committee to this effect.
The petitioner requested for the HC’s intervention on the grounds that the State Government has failed to take necessary measures in this regard. He prayed that stringent action be initiated against the defaulting agencies for realisation of the NPV with accrued interest.
The petition stated that while 111 agencies have indicated their defaulted NPV amount at Rs 714.47 crore, just five have partly deposited their NPV amount to the tune of Rs 19.99 crore and the balance amount of Rs 15.66 crore is yet to be paid by them.
“It is clear from the September, 2003 notification of the Ministry of Environment and Forest of the Union Government that NPV shall be realised before Stage II (final) approval. But in the current case, out of 111 agencies, some of them already have received Stage II approval in violation of the said guidelines,” the petition stated.
Alleging that the violation could be due to collusion, the petitioner said some of the biggest defaulters included the State-owned PSUs as well as POSCO India Limited.
The HC has admitted the petition and notices have been issued to Ministry of Environment and Forest, Chief Secretary, Dept of Environment and Forest as well as Industries Department of the State.