Odisha to auction 16 mining blocks by March, awaits centre’s nod

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government will auction 16 mines including 10 iron mines by the end of March 2019.  The state government has written to the centre and after getting necessary approval the state will initiate the auction process by end of this month, said  Odisha Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick here on Tuesday.

The Minister said that 31 mine owners have failed to deposit penalty as per the order of the Supreme Court. Out of the 31 mine owners, the lease of six mines has been nullified while 25 mine owners granted stay order from the court.

“As all these mine owners did not deposit their fine as per the Supreme Court’s order, concerned collectors have been asked to initiate certificate case against to collect the fine amount and the exercise has already begun in this regard,” Mallick said.

Asked about the fate of the six cancelled mines, the Minister said, “As per the normal procedure they will be put into auction once again if there is no legal impediment. However, 16 mines, whose leases have expired, are now ready for putting into auction.”

“We have written to the Centre accordingly for approval. The auction process is likely to begin by December,” the Minister added.

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