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26 Mines in Odissha

th (50)A state government panel on Saturday recommended extension of the lease period of 26 mines in the state in accordance with the provisions of the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act, 2015.

The committee headed by development commissioner U N Behera has recommended extension of lease deed of eight captive mines till March 31, 2030 and 18 non-captive mines till March 31, 2020. Among the captive mines, seven belong to Tata steel and one to ACC Cement, a source said.“In accordance with the provisions of the amendments made in the MMDR Act, the committee recommended extension of lease period of 26 mines that had come up for our consideration,” Director of Mines Deepak Kumar Mohanty told reporters after the meetingThe Supreme Court in May last year asked the State Government to halt the operation in 26 mines which were waiting for second and subsequent renewal, saying that automatic renewal of the mine lease after 20 years of first renewal was illegal.

Out of the mines operating under express order, lease deeds have been executed for three mines belonging to SAIL and one belonging to OMC has been given an extension. Now, the committee has recommended the extension of the lease period of the remaining four mines of Tata steel, VK Lal and ACC, Bargarh operates under express order, said Mohanty. These mines had no case of violation of lease conditions against them and are thus eligible for a lease extension. The meeting decided to extend their period of lease. The State Government will take the final call, Mohanty said.Director of mines Deepak Mohanty said, “Since there was no violation of lease conditions against these mines, the committee found them eligible for a lease extension.”