Keonjhar: Eight mine leaseholders today deposed before the Keonjhar district administration after notices were served to them under the Odisha Public Demands Recovery (OPDR) Act.

According to sources, replies had been sought from the mining lessees as to why their properties should not be confiscated for their alleged involvement in illegal mining in the State.

Accompanied by officials, owners of SD Sharma, Sarada, Mala Ray and Others, BPME Ltd, Gandhamardan Sponge, HG Pandya, OMDC Ltd and MR Das mines appeared before the district administration. Due to lawyers strike in the district, the mining lessees deposed personally to present their side.

Earlier, on August 4, owners of S C Padhi, B D Patnaik, Bhanja Minerals, Facor, Mineral Trading Syndicate, Mid-east Steel, Arayani and Sons & S N Dammohapatra mines had presented their side before the administration.

Odisha government on July 28 had started the process to attach properties of mine owners, who have not paid penalty for illegal mining activities in different parts of the state.

It is pertinent to mention here that cases were earlier registered against 23 lessees of 31 mines in Keonjhar district as Rs 6,300 crore was due for recovery.