Saswat Singhdeo

Keonjhar: The mining lessees in Keonjhar will depose before Collector’s court today to present their side in connection with the illegal mining case in the State.

The owners include S C Padhi, B D Patnaik, Bhanja Minerals, Faker, Mineral trading syndicate, Mid-east steel, Arayani and sons & S N Dammohapatra.

All the mining lessees have been asked to present their side as to why their properties would not be confiscated.

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

Earlier, nine mines owners had deposed before the court to present their side.

Sources said the government has now toughened its stand and is gearing up for action against the defaulters by confiscating property under the Odisha Public Demands Recovery (OPDR) Act.

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.

The next hearing is likely to conducted on August 18, sources said.