Odisha to auction four mines in a week


Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government on Monday said it would issue a notification for e-auction of four mines in the State within two-three days.

These are two limestone mines located at Kotameta and Usakalabhagu in Malkangiri district, one in Garamara in Nuapada district and a manganese mine at Lasarda Pacheri in Keonjhar district.

“We would issue notification for the auction of four mines in two-three days. Once the notification is issued, the bidders would be invited to participate in the e-auction process,” said Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallick.

He said reserve and bidding price of these mines has been decided.

In March this year, Essar Steel bagged Ghorhaburhani-Sagasahi iron ore block, the first one to be offered for e-auction, upstaging strong contenders like Tata Steel, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd (JSPL) and JSW Steel. The block was auctioned under the amended Mines and Mineral Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act, 2015.

Recently, the Centre had asked the state government to expedite mining auction process as Odisha is way behind in the auctioning process compared to other mineral bearing states.

According to recently launched mining surveillance system (MSS), a pan-India surveillance network using satellite technology to check illegal mining, at least 20 successful triggers have been generated in Odisha, showing activities of illegal mining in the State.

Officials said these will be confirmed only after spot verification by the mines officials.

“We will look into it after Centre shares data on this with us”, Mallick stated.

In the initial phase, a total of 296 triggers have been generated in the MSS software across the States, which covers a total of 3,994.87 hectares under the system.

State-wise data for successful triggers can be summarised as Madhya Pradesh (46), Goa (42), Karnataka (35), Gujarat (32), Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu (29 each), Rajasthan (23), Odisha (20), Himachal Pradesh (11), Maharashtra (8), Meghalaya (7), Chhattisgarh & Telangana (6 each) and Jharkhand (2).

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