The Odisha government on Thursday informed the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) that all mines operating in the State have statutory clearance.
“We have informed the CEC that all the mines, mostly iron ore and manganese, operating in the State required statutory clearance for mining activities,” Chief Secretary J.K. Mohapatra said after a meeting with the CEC at New Delhi on Thursday.
The CEC will handover the documents availed from the State government to Supreme Court which had been hearing a case regarding the alleged illegal mining activities in Odisha, Mr. Mohapatra said.
The CEC had wanted compliance from the state government on difference matters like environmental clearance, forest clearance and consent to operate. Besides, it also heard the point of views of different mines lease holders.
The SC, which is hearing on the alleged illegal mining cases in the state, had asked the CEC to submit a report on what interim orders could be issued to deal with the problems posed by large-scale illegal mining in Odisha.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had asked the Central and the Odisha governments as well as the CEC to formally explain their position vis-a-vis allegations by the NGO petitioner that widespread mining illegalities were committed in Odisha.
Even as the state government claimed that there was no illegality in the mining operations, there are apprehensions that Odisha face a temporary ban on mining before being allowed resumption of operation under a set of safeguard.