Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Mar 20:
The Keonjhar district administration has consistently ignored repeated directions of the Forest and Environment department to launch prosecution against iron and manganese miners for illegal mining of ore in violation of the Environment Protection Act.
Even though the department has asked the district administration to file cases against the miners and inform the department about the charges pressed against the mining lessees for further action, the latter is yet to comply with the direction. The department sent out the first of several letters to the district collectors on January 22 this year.
“It is requested that prosecution may please be filed against the defaulting mining lessees immediately and copies of the complaints filed in the criminal court may be submitted to this department without further delay,” said the letter issued by the Forest department.
The department had asked the Keonjhar district administration to file prosecution against 21 mining leases, including SAIL, FACOR, Prabodh Mohanty, OMDC, SN Mohanty, Patnaik Minerals, OMC, Kalinga Mining Corporation and Arjun Lodha.
It is to be noted that the government had also asked the Jajpur, Sundargarh and Mayurbhanj district collectors to file prosecutions against the defaulting mining lessees.