Odisha mining cos may get leases before Jan 11 deadline

Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: As many as sixty Odisha mines for which approvals were granted before 12 January, 2015 when the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Act of 2015 came into operation, may obtain lease deed before the deadline ends on 11 January.

This was hinted by Union Power minister Piyush Goyal after meeting chief minister Naveen Patnaik at New Delhi on Thursday.

“We discussed about particularly taking power to every home in the State of Odisha, relating to some of the mining clearances for minerals to be mined in Odisha and for development of renewable energy in Odisha…Many mining leases that are to be granted and since 11 January is the last date, we have sorted out most of those issues,” Goyal said.

Officials familiar with the development said, the Centre has eased norms for cases which are stuck over more than two years due to several administrative and procedural delays involving State governments.

The officials said that the mines ministry has tweaked norms so that States can grant leases even if a miner does not obtain environmental clearance, which was a pre-requisite for obtaining a lease.

Execution of mining lease deeds under the new law has a deadline of January 11, 2017. Operation of these mines is necessary in view of the increasing demands of raw materials from the metal industries. Besides, the government has targeted to increase the mineral output by reviving operations of several mines as per the plan prepared by the ministry.