Odisha has served show cause notices on 103 state mines for extracting ore in excess of their stipulated limit, state Steel and Mines Secretary Rajesh Verma said Tuesday.
The mines are mostly of iron ore and the owners have been asked why they should not be charged for extracting excess ore and a penalty thereon, Verma told IANS.
The cost of the excess iron ore and penalty totals around Rs.68,000 crore for the 103 mines, Verma added.
The notices have been served in phases during the last two months, Verma said, adding that the ore was extracted during the last 10 years.
Verma said the state government served the notices under the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act. He said the state government is likely to serve similar notices to about 90 more mines.
Meanwhile, union Minister Srikant Jena, who is an MP from Odisha, said that by imposing a fine on miners the state government has admitted to its own involvement in the "loot of minerals" in the state.
Jena Nov 5 demanded the resignation of Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.
"It is becoming clear that this loot has been deliberate, calculated, well thought out and meticulously planned in collusion with Naveen Patnaik and mining operators," Jena had said.
Jena is union minister of state for chemicals and fertilisers.
Refuting the allegations, state Steel and Mines Minister Rajanikant Singh said the state government took action only after the Indian Bureau of Mines did not act against the miners.
"It was the duty of the Indian Bureau of Mines to detect excess production," he told reporters.