Bhubaneswar: As the Supreme Court’s deadline for collection of illegal mining fines ended on December 31, 2017, the state government has so far reportedly collected only about Rs 8,062 crore against the targeted amount of Rs 17,576.17 crore.
The Odisha Government collected the amount from mining leaseholders as compensation for extracting illegally iron and manganese ore between 2000-01 and 2010-11.
However, the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), appointed by the Supreme Court to probe illegal mining in Odisha, had calculated the figure for excess mining beyond the limits approved under EC at Rs 17,576.17 crore.
“The exact amount paid by the leaseholders can be known on January 1, 2018 as the final figure would take some time to reconcile in the account,” said a senior official in the Steel and Mines Department requesting anonymity.
The government-run Public Sector Undertaking(PSU), Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), Tata Steel, Rungta Mines, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Indrani Patnaik, Kaypee Enterprises, Aryan Mining and Trading Corporation and Tarini Minerals and K N Ram are the mining majors who have paid compensation amounts.
According to sources, OMC has already paid its penalty to the tune of Rs 2,177.97 crore.
The mining leaseholders had illegally extracted 215.5 million tonnes of iron and manganese ore between 2000-01 and 2010-11 in complete violation of forest and environmental norms and rules.
The Supreme Court in its judgment on August 2, 2017 had directed the Odisha Government to collect the cost of excess extraction from the defaulting miners.
Leaseholders stepped up efforts to deposit the penalty amount with the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) after the Supreme Court recently ruled out any extension in deadline and also rejected the appeal for payments in easy installments.
A SPV, OMBADC has been formed to step up developmental works in the Mining zones of the State. Funds collected as compensations will be utilized for the purpose.