Illegal mining: Odisha Govt. files detailed affidavit before SC

ANI | Updated: Oct 08, 2017 21:16 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct. 8 (ANI): The Odisha Government has filed a detailed affidavit in the Supreme Court in connection with the state mining case wherein it has cited the various developmental activities carried out by them through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in mining affected areas in the state.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Madan B Lockur and also comprising Justices Abdul Nazeer and Dipak Gupta, was hearing a plea filed by NGO, Common Cause, seeking action against those illegal mining companies and stop their work in the state.

A copy of the affidavit, exclusively accessed by ANI stated that as per the recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) constituted by the Supreme Court, 50 percent of the additional amount of the Net Present Value (NPV) of the forest land of mining leases to be realised from the mining lessees was ordered to be utilized through a SPV for undertaking tribal welfare and area development works so as to ensure inclusive growth of the mineral bearing areas of Odisha, the state government said in the affidavit.

Initially, the SPV was registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act by the state government. Subsequently, as advised by the CEC, the SPV was incorporated as a 'not-for-profit'' government company namely Odisha Mineral Bearing Areas Development Corporation (OMBADC), under prescribed sections of the Companies Act, 2013, the state government said in its affidavit.

"The main objective of the SPV is to implement the identified projects or works for the tribal welfare and area development so as to ensure inclusive growth of the state. Panchayati Raj Department was entrusted with the responsibility of identifying the actual number of mining villages affected by ground survey. As of now, 691 villages have been identified in 129 Gram panchayats under 30 blocks," the affidavit further stated.

In view of the limited availability of funds, the SPV had been able to take up projects for providing pucca houses to all the households in the mining affected villages, rural piped water supply projects, afforestation and skill development, the affidavit stated.

However, large sums of money are expected to be received by the SPV before December 31, 2017, as directed in the judgment of the apex court on August 2.

The Supreme Court had on August 2 imposed a hundred percent penalty on mining companies which were operating without necessary clearances in Odisha.

Receipts of these funds would enable the SPV to implement larger sized and numbers of projects in the mining affected districts. The SPV would have to be further strengthened to take up comprehensive development works in all the mining affected areas in the state by effectively utilizing the funds received, the affidavit further stated.

Earlier on September 21, 2016, the apex court had issued a notice to the Centre and the Odisha Government demanding a detailed reply of the iron ore sharing contract between Sarda Mines and Jindal Steel and power Limited (JSPL) within two months.(ANI)