Odisha government issues show cause notice to Sarada Mines to recover Rs 1,042 crore

Odisha government issues show cause notice to Sarada Mines to recover Rs 1,042 crore

BHUBANESWAR: The State government has served a show cause notice to Sarada Mines Pvt Ltd (SMPL) to explain why Rs 1,042.3 crore will not be recovered for excess mining beyond the approved limit.

Serving the notice to SMPL on Friday, the Joint Director of Mines, Joda circle said, “On verification, it has been noticed that you have achieved production of 61,53,976 tonne of iron ore during 2020-21, which is in excess of 21,53,976 tonne than the approved lowest limit.”

As per the notice, the company which resumed operation of the mining block on the strength of the Supreme Court order from February 1, 2020 was allowed to mine 40 lakh tonne during 2020-21.

This was the approved quantity for production under mining plan approved by IBM, environmental clearance granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forest and consent to operate order of the State government.

However, the mining company which is in thick controversy for violating legal provisions under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act, 1957 has extracted iron ore of nearly 61.54 lakh tonne during 2020-21 which was in excess of about 21.54 lakh tonne.

“You are therefore asked show cause as to why cost price as compensation amounting Rs 1042,30,89,864 under section 2l(5) of MM(D&R), Act-1957 will not be recovered from you,” the notice said asking for a reply within 7 days. 

This is the second notice by the State government to SMPL, the lease holder of Thakurani iron ore block-B in Joda mining circle of Keonjhar district within four months.

The Joint Director of Mines had served a demand notice of Rs 2,056 crore to SMPL in January this year for carrying out mining operations without environment clearance (EC) and production of minerals in excess of the EC capacity.

On May 21, the government asked Sarada Mines to stop production of iron ore from Thakurani mines immediately for violating provisions of MMDR Act. The company has been asked to stop despatch of iron ore from Thakurani mines (Block-B) with immediate effect.

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