By BS Reporter
The officials of the Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) and Sarada mines will appear before the Justice MB Shah Commission of enquiry, investigating into cases of multi-crore illegal mining, on November 8.
“JSPL and Sarada mines are called on November 8, after the commission visited the Tensa iron ore mines belonging to JSPL in Koira circle during their field trip,” said Deepak Mohanty, Director of Mines.
Recently Sarada mine was in the dock for violation of rule 37 of Mineral Concession Rules (MCR)-1960. The lessee holds lease of the Thakurani iron ore mines spread over 947.04 hectares in Keonjhar district and sells its entire run of mine (ROM) produce to JSPL without any agreement. The arrangement contributed to lower value added tax (VAT) collection by the Odisha government on account of low pricing of ROM in comparison to the value derived by JSPL from the product vis-a-vis the market price.
According to an enquiry report of a five-member committee of steel & mines department headed by P C Patra, deputy director of mines (Bhubaneswar), the major benefit of the mine has gone to JSPL.
Mohanty said, the commission during their visit was apprised of the JSPL’s supply arrangements with Sarada mines.
Sources said, during mining lease record verification process on November 1, the commission members had found some mismatch between JSPL’s actual raising area at Tensa in Koira circle details and map shown on Google Earth.
Besides, the probe panel had asked the company to give details of its raw material requirements for its Raigarh and Deogarh plant and its supply arrangements with Sarada mines, situated in Joda mining circle. JSPL and Sarada mines have been asked to submit their reply by November 17.
In addition, the commission is likely to meet the officials of the state vigilance department on November 7. The state vigilance is inquiring into the allegations of illegal mining since 2009.
The commission, which is concentrating more on the verification of records of the iron ore mines, on Monday examined more than eight files of the miners in the Joda and Koida mining circles. The examined files included those of four mines of Odisha Minerals Development Company (OMDC) - Belkundi mine, Bagiaburu mine, Bhadrasahi mine and Suruguturia mine of Narayani Sons in the Joda circle. Similarly, in the Koida circle, the probe panel verified the files of Sanindipur and Raikela mines of National Enterprises and Raikela mine of Penguin Trading and Agencies Ltd.