Odisha identifies 111 mining companies violating green norms
Bhubaneswar: After imposing penalty of about Rs 75,000 crore against 104 mining companies for excess production of ore, Odisha government has identified 111 mines violating environment laws, official sources said.
"The state government has directed the collectors of districts concerned to initiate action against the defaulting mining companies as per the law," Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray said.
While maximum 56 mines violating the environment protection laws are located in Keonjhar district, the rest have been operating in Sundergarh district. Three each such mines had been found in Rayagada and Mayurbhanj districts and one in Bolangir district.
Routray said these 111 mining companies were found violating Environment Protection Act, 1986.
Interestingly, sources said names of some of the mining companies which had been asked to pay penalty for excess ore production, were also found in the list of defaulting mines found in violating environmental laws.
The state government's disclosure on the green norm violation was significant in view of Justice M B Shah Commission's inquiry into alleged mining scam in Odisha. The Shah panel's term and reference also included environment law violation by the mining companies, sources said.
However, the minister said 153 mining companies were operating in the state with required environmental clearance.