54 mining leases operating under deemed extension

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 03:51 hrs

pAs many as 54 mining leases in Odisha are operating under deemed extension following the expiry of their leases The expiry period of the leases ranges from five to 25 yearsppAccording to information given by minister for steel & mines Rajani Kant Singh in the state assembly mine owners like Tata Steel Jindal Steel & Power Ltd JSPL Odisha Mining Corporation OMC Essel Mining & Industries Ltd EMIL Mid East Integrated Steel Ltd Ferro Alloys Corporation FACOR Rungta Sons and KJS Ahluwalia are operating their leases under deemed extensionppThe leases include seven of Tata Steel- Khandabandh Katamati Joda West Bamebari Joda East Manmora and Guruda & Tiringpahar and two of EMIL &ndash Jilling-Langalota iron ore mines and Kasia iron ore dolomite and limestone mines- all in Keonjhar districtppIt may be noted that the Odisha government had drawn flak from the Supreme Court appointed Central empowered committee for allowing leases to continue operations under deemed extension for long periodsppThe CEC in its report in April 2010 had pointed out the misuse of &lsquodeemed extension&rsquo clause in Odisha under Rules 24-A 6 of Mineral Concession Rules-1960pp&ldquoUnder the garb of deemed extension clause Rules 24-A 6 of Mineral Concession Rules-1960 and because of the non-implementation of the provisions of the Forest Conservation Act and the other applicable Rules and Guidelines widespread and rampant illegal mining operations have been taking place in Odisha The organized illegal mining is taking place with the active support of the state government and has resulted in the breakdown of the constitutional machinery&rdquo the CEC report had mentionedppThe committee further observed that a large number of mines have remained operational for long periods of time after the expiry of the lease period because of the delays in taking decisions on the renewal applications filed by the respective mining leaseholders Consequently the mines had become eligible for &lsquodeemed extension&rsquo as provided under rule 24-A 6 of Mineral Concession Rules-1960pp&ldquoThis provision deemed extension clause is not meant to be availed of indefinitely Moreover continuing mining over a long period of time without renewal of the mining lease becomes a potential source for serious illegalities and irregularities&rdquo the CEC report statedp

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