BHUBANESWAR: The State Government is in the process of finalising demand notices to be served on 34 mining lease holders for recovery of full cost of the minerals illegally mined in violation of Forest Conservation Act, 1980.The 34 lessees are out of 51 cases identified by the Justice MB Shah Commission for undertaking mining operation in the forest land in violation of the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980.The proposed demand notices will be issued as per the August 2 order of the Supreme Court which has directed the State Government to recover the full cost of the minerals (iron ore and manganese) extracted without approved mining plan, forest clearance and consent of the Odisha State Pollution Control Board to operate mines.
The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) in its report to the Supreme Court had said that 15 mining lessees have not violated the FCA while 16 lease holders have undertaken mining operation in violation of the Act between October 25, 1980 and 1999-2000. The CEC had not made any recommendations to the court on the 16 lessees as the State Government had issued show cause notice to them.“The CEC has not made any particular recommendation in regard to these 16 mining leases nor have we.
But we direct the State Government to promptly take a decision on the show cause notice preferably within a period of four months and in any case before December 31, 2017,” the apex court order said.
In case of 18 lease holders, the apex court said they are liable to compensate the State for the entire price of the iron ore and manganese ore illegally mined with effect from January 7, 1998 until the forest clearance was obtained by the lease holder concerned.
Meanwhile, the State Government has issued demand notices to 152 mining lease holders for payment of full cost of the minerals extracted in excess of the environmental clearance. The CEC has valued the worth of the minerals at `17,576 crore.Though the CEC had recommended for recovery of 70 per cent of the notional value of the iron ore and manganese produced by the lessees by undertaking mining operations in the forest land in violation of the FCA, the apex court directed the State Government for recovery of full cost of minerals.