Odisha government to open seven non-captive mines

Bhubaneswar, July 22 (IANS) Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick on Wednesday said an inter-departmental committee has recommended the opening of seven non-captive mines in the state.

Mallick said the leaseholders would be asked to sign supplementary lease deeds after approval from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to open these mines.

These mines are RB Das mines, Tarini minerals, BC Mohanty mines, Tata Sukinda mines, Gitarani mines, TP Mohanty mines and Gandhamardhan mines whose lease would be extended under the new Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2015.

Recently, an inter-departmental panel headed by Development Commissioner U.N. Behera had examined the applications of eight iron and chrome ore mines and decided to recommend opening of seven mines to the state government.

Meanwhile, 21 leaseholders have signed supplementary lease deeds with the state government for opening their closed mines. The government has collected Rs.895 crore as stamp duty and registration fee.

“Out of the 29 mines earlier recommended for operation, 21 have signed lease deeds so far. Tata has sought extension of another two months to sign the lease deeds,” said Mallick.

The government had allowed the lessees to sign the supplementary lease deeds within three months with all statutory clearances.

The captive mines would be allowed to operate till March 2030 while non-captive mines would operate till March 2020, according to the amended MMDR Act.

Three mines applying for first lease renewal would be recommended for extension for 50 years, said sources.

In another development, the government decided to soon fix the ceiling price for mineral transportation in each mineral-producing district of Odisha.

Commerce and Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi said the department received a report from the transport commissioner over fixing of ceiling price for mineral transportation in the districts of Angul, Jagatsinghpur, Keonjhar, Jajpur and Sundergarh.

A technical committee headed by the collector was constituted in each district to fix the ceiling price for their respective districts.

Meanwhile, about 30,000 truckers in Keonjhar and Sundargarh are protesting the fixing of ceiling price for mineral transportation.

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