Bhubaneswar: In a major jolt to the defaulting mine owners, Odisha Government on Wednesday sent a strong message that it would initiate certificate cases and confiscate their properties if they fail to pay the penalties for illegal and excess mining.
Speaking to mediapersons, Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick said as many as 56 mining leaseholders are yet to pay Rs 7,689 crore of penalties as per the directions of the Supreme Court in August 2017. “Proceedings under the Odisha Public Demands Recovery (OPDA) Act will be initiated and their properties will be attached for recovery of the penalty,” Mallick said.
“A committee headed by district Collectors and Revenue Department officials will initiate the proceedings to collect the penalties as per the guidelines of the apex court,” he said.
In August 2017, the Supreme Court had directed the leaseholders to pay 100-per cent penalty by December 31, 2017, following which the State Government issued notices to 131 mining leaseholders. Notably, the State Government has so far collected over Rs 10,000 crore as penalty from defaulting mining firms operating without necessary clearances against a total of Rs 17,576 crore.
After the deadline’s ended, the court had directed the Odisha Government to collect penalties with 12 per cent interest from the defaulters.