Mining scam: SC appointed CEC team begins probe in Keonjhar

Bhubaneswar: Appointed by the Supreme Court, the four-member central empowered committee (CEC) began field investigation in the iron ore mines of Keonjhar district’s Joda area on Sunday. The team which began its probe by inspecting the Kasia and RBT mines is scheduled to inspect 11 iron ore and manganese mines in Keonjhar and Sundergarh districts, sources said.

The team comprising P V Jayakrishna, Mahindra Vyas, M K Muthuand SK Patnaik would later meet senior state government officials on Tuesday.  The probe has been ordered for alleged illegal operations by the mines lease holders violating the Ministry of Environment and Forest guidelines and the permissible levels, sources said.

The other aspects the CEC team are scheduled to inspect are the lease period, renewal of leases, consent to operate, mining plan, etc. It can be recalled the multi-crore mining scam in Odisha has not only hit national headlines and created uproars in the state Assembly and Parliament, but has initiated several legal battles.