"The CEC team has expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the state government on implementation of the Supreme Court order on mining," Odisha's Development Commissioner, Srinivas, told reporters after a two-member CEC team led by MK Jiwrajka met him here. Srinivas said that the state government tried to reply to all the queries raised by the visiting team.
"We informed the team that the state government has recommended resumption of mining operations in eight iron ore mines. We also told them that the Odisha government has been attempting to reopen 18 other mines," Srinivas said. Odisha government had earlier ordered temporary closure of 26 mines as per the direction of the apex court.
Of the 26 iron ore and manganese mines, which were operating under the deemed renewal category, the state government has recommended renewal of eight mines. However, mine lessees have to fulfil certain conditions before resuming operations, sources said.
The CEC team consisting of Jiwrajka and MM Vyas will meet the lease holders tomorrow before preparing a final report on the status of mining in the state. The CEC team, which is on a two-day visit to Odisha, is to also meet state government officials and representatives of Indian Bureau of Mines, among others.
There are 186 iron ore and manganese mines in the state. As part of its visit, the team would collect additional information on illegal mining before submitting its final report to Supreme Court. The state government will provide all data related to the mines operating within 1-km radius of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, an official said, adding that information related to the mining lease under Forest Conservation Act-1980, environmental clearance and renewal of lease under MMDR Act will also be furnished to the team.