Image for representation.(HT file photo)
Image for representation.(HT file photo)

Decade after scam, Odisha imposes penalty of 2056 cr for illegal mining

  • This is the biggest ever penalty on any mining company after the mining scam broke out a decade ago.
By Debabrata Mohanty, Bhubaneswar
PUBLISHED ON FEB 02, 2021 01:39 AM IST

A decade after the mining scam rocked Odisha leading to tightening of rules governing raising and transportation of minerals, the state mining department for the first time detected a major illegality, imposing penalty of 2,056 crore on Sarda Mines, a merchant miner for excess mining.

The joint director of mines in Joda of mines-rich Keonjhar district last week sent the notice to Sarda Mines under Section 21 (5) of The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) (MMDR) Act, 1957, for raising 4.2 million tonnes of iron ore in excess of the limits stipulated under environmental clearance, mining plan as well as the limit set by State Pollution Control Board.

The mines department in its penalty demand said the Thakurani Block-B iron mines held by Sarda Mines in Keonjhar district over an area of 947.046 hectare produced at least 7 times of the limit set up by different government agencies such as Indian Bureau of Mines, the OPCB as well as the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Climate Change for the financial year 2019-20

The demand note from the joint director of mines said the excess mining happened in the month of February and March 2020. The mines department calculated the penalty taking into account the price of lump ore decided by the Indian Bureau of Mines. In February 2020, the highest price of lump ore was 4,691 per tonne while in March it was 4,835 per tonne.

Also read: Twitter restores 250 accounts blocked in India for a controversial hashtag

"This is the biggest ever penalty on any mining company after the mining scam broke out a decade ago," confirmed joint director of mines, Salil Behera. He, however, could not clarify how the company raised so much ore in excess of the limits set by various authorities even after many regulations were brought in after the mining scam. In 2010, the state mining department had started Integrated Mines and Minerals Management System (i3MS), a comprehensive information technology-based e-Governance initiative that provided an end-to-end tracking of minerals produced, despatched and consumed in all the 14 mining circles.

Other senior mining officials did not comment on the penalty imposed. HN Singh, vice-president of Sarda Mines, said his company would challenge the order in High Court. "We don't agree with the penalty demand. There are several flaws in it," he said.

After the mining scam was unearthed in Odisha in 2009, Justice MB Shah Commission of Enquiry had found that around 60,000 crore worth of ore was mined illegally from Keonjhar and Sundargarh between 2000 and 2010. However, in 2017, central empowered committee, that was appointed by Supreme Court to probe into illegal mining in Odisha, put the amount at 17,576.17 crore following which the apex court ruled that the errant companies have to pay the amount. The CEC calculated the figure for illegal extraction of 215.5 million tonnes of iron and manganese ore between 2000-01 and 2010-11.

The Thakurani B iron ore mines in Joda area leased to Sarda Mines in August 1991 was a supplier of high-quality ore to the Naveen Jindal-led Jindal Steel and Power Limited plant before it was closed on March 31, 2014, due to lack of environment clearances. In January last year, the Supreme Court had allowed it to resume mining operations after directing to pay around 933 crore towards environmental compensation to the state government.

However, in September last year, the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change asked Sarda Mines to stop operation immediately noting that its environment clearance was invalid. Sarda Mines, however, got a stay against the order from Delhi High Court and resumed its operation. Its lease over the Thakurani B mines is scheduled to end in August this year.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
It had also permitted FDI in defence production above 74 per cent under automatic route if it is "likely to result in access to modern technology".(File photo)
It had also permitted FDI in defence production above 74 per cent under automatic route if it is "likely to result in access to modern technology".(File photo)

44 companies given FDI approvals for joint production of defence items

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 06:32 PM IST
On September 17 last year, the government had permitted FDI in defence production up to 74 per cent under automatic route.
Close
The BJP has clear policies on important aspects of life and the government has worked with that in the past, Sonowal said.(HT File Photo)
The BJP has clear policies on important aspects of life and the government has worked with that in the past, Sonowal said.(HT File Photo)

CM Sarbananda Sonowal says people of Assam eager to bring back BJP-led govt

PTI, Guwahati
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 06:20 PM IST
"People of Assam have found a suitable performing government ... They are very happy with the developmental work of our government," the CM said.
Close
A group of elderly widows in Vrindavan who were given Covid-19 vaccine on Monday.(HT PHOTO)
A group of elderly widows in Vrindavan who were given Covid-19 vaccine on Monday.(HT PHOTO)

Covid vaccination makes Women’s Day special for Vrindavan’s widows

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 06:11 PM IST
  • Vrindavan is home to thousands of widows who have either been abandoned by their families or are just alone in the world.
Close
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa(ANI)
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa(ANI)

No new taxes levied, Karnataka budget 'people-friendly': Yediyurappa

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:56 PM IST
Against the budgeted estimates, the state expected to spend at least 94 per cent of the total expenditure, he said.
Close
Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo.(Twitter/TS_SinghDeo)
Chhattisgarh Health Minister TS Singh Deo.(Twitter/TS_SinghDeo)

Two Chhattisgarh ministers test positive for Covid-19

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:27 PM IST
  • Four Chhattisgarh legislators have contracted Covid-19 during the ongoing budget session of the legislative assembly which began on February 22.
Close
Representational image. (AP)
Representational image. (AP)

Women deployed aboard Indian Navy warships after almost 25 years

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:18 PM IST
India’s only aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya and fleet tanker INS Shakti are the warships that have been assigned their first women crews since the late-1990s
Close
Representational Image.
Representational Image.

Proportion of men donating organs improved in past 2 decades in India: Data

PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:14 PM IST
When it came to recipients, the ratio is skewed in favour of the male child. Between 1998 and 2012, only 29% of the livers went to male children, data from Apollo hospital suggests. This ratio has improved to 40% between 2016 and 2021
Close
“Our party [MNM], which intends to give government salary to housewives, celebrates womanhood every day,” Kamal Haasan said on Twitter.(AFP)
“Our party [MNM], which intends to give government salary to housewives, celebrates womanhood every day,” Kamal Haasan said on Twitter.(AFP)

Kamal Haasan’s MNM alleges DMK has copied its poll promises

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:08 PM IST
“I would be pleased if the DMK, which had copied all the highlights of our election manifesto, will also take up our honesty,” Haasan tweeted in Tamil.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (File photo)

Five pillars to mark India@75 celebration: PM Modi

By HT Correspondent | Edited by Smriti Sinha
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 05:06 PM IST
The 259-member committee includes former president Pratibha Patil, CJI Sharad Bobde, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and home minister Amit Shah. Other eminent personalities part of the committee are economist Amartya Sen, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Baba Ramdev
Close
Representative Image(AP)
Representative Image(AP)

From ‘ITSSO’ to ‘NDSO,’ govt lists steps to enhance women’s security

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Karan Manral
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:47 PM IST
On International Women’s Day, the Amit Shah-headed home ministry stressed that ‘women’s security is the nation’s priority.’
Close
BJP MP Sonal Mansingh. (PHOTO: PRABHAS ROY/HT)
BJP MP Sonal Mansingh. (PHOTO: PRABHAS ROY/HT)

News updates from HT: International Men's Day should be celebrated, says BJP MP

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:46 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
Arrested computer hacker and cyber criminal with handcuffs, close up of hands(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Arrested computer hacker and cyber criminal with handcuffs, close up of hands(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Mumbai cyber cops arrest man for morphing BJP leader's photo, sending lewd texts

By Vijay Kumar Yadav
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:42 PM IST
  • On March 2, the BJP leader had complained that a person was sending her lewd messages after she took a firm stand on death by suicide of a young woman from Pune, blaming a Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) minister for her death.
Close
BJP MP Sonal Mansingh addresses during the second phase of the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi. (ANI Photo/ RSTV)
BJP MP Sonal Mansingh addresses during the second phase of the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi. (ANI Photo/ RSTV)

‘International Men’s Day should also be celebrated’: BJP’s Sonal Mansingh

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:24 PM IST
  • As her demand evoked laughter among the members of the house, she said people anyway talk about equality. Notably, International Men’s Day is celebrated on November 19 around the world.
Close
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during the virtual summit with PM Modi in December, had stressed that India was Bangladesh's 'true friend".(HT Photo/Mohd Zakir)
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, during the virtual summit with PM Modi in December, had stressed that India was Bangladesh's 'true friend".(HT Photo/Mohd Zakir)

PM Modi to travel to Bangladesh on March 26, his first visit abroad in 15 months

By Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:22 PM IST
  • PM Modi will travel to Dhaka to join celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Bangladesh's independence in 1971
Close
India's Prime Minster Narendra Modi addresses supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during a mass rally ahead of the state legislative assembly elections at the Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata on March 7, 2021. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)(AFP)
India's Prime Minster Narendra Modi addresses supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during a mass rally ahead of the state legislative assembly elections at the Brigade Parade ground in Kolkata on March 7, 2021. (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)(AFP)

PM Modi lists 5 pillars for celebrating India's 75 years of Independence

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Arpan Rai, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 08, 2021 04:08 PM IST
PM Modi made the comments during the meeting of the national committee to commemorate ‘Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav’ - a central government programme to mark 75 years of India's Independence.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP