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Supreme Court rejects Odisha miners’ plea to extend deadline for payment of compensation for illegal mining

BHUBANESHWAR: The Supreme Court on Wednesday dismissed the plea of Odisha miners’ to extend the deadline for staggered payment of over Rs 17,576 crore of compensation for illegal mining.

As the state government had slapped demand notices worth Rs 17,576 crore against 136 lessees on the basis of the August 2 Supreme Court order, the lessees moved the Apex Court requesting the apex court to extend the deadline. The lessees were asked to pay the amount by December 31.

“If the lessees would not pay the dues by December 31, mining operations would be suspended according to the apex court order. Similarly, the closed mines would not get any clearances for further operations,” director of mines Deepak Mohanty told TOI.

Of the 136 iron/manganese ore blocks against whose demand noticed have been slapped, as many as 48 are currently operational.

The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) appointed by the Supreme Court has sent guidelines to chief secretary A P Padhi on assessment of undisposed stock of iron/manganese ore lying at various mining yards.

Asked about it, Mohanty said the CEC recommendation was about undisposed stock of iron/manganese ore lying with only 32 lessees. “The state government would conduct field verification to know the status of the undisposed stock of ore and issue revised demand notices. Rest lessees have to pay the amount according to the court order,” he added.

Mohanty said so far not a single lessee has paid its due to the state government according to the court order.

Prabodh Mohanty, general secretary of the Eastern Zonal Mining Association said since the apex court refused to relax on payment of the compensation, the miners have to pay the dues.

“But it would be difficult for the miners to arrange such a hefty amount as a result of which several mines may face closure,” Prabodh told TOI.

Source : timesofindia



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Supreme Court rejects Odisha miners’ plea to extend deadline for payment of compensation for illegal mining

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