Why Odisha Government showing leniency to Atha Group, KN Ram Mines?

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By Our Correspondent

JODA/BARBIL/BHUBANESWAR: With Mining lease expiring on March 31, 2020 and after paying the fine amount imposed by the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court following Justice MB Shah Commission’s report, KN Ram Mines Ltd of Atha Group , has been making no stone unturned to extract minerals amounting crores illegally till its extended lease period ends last year.

Reports from Joda, Barbil and Koira ranges said, Roida – II Iron Ore Mines in Joda Division of Odisha’s mineral rich Keonjhar district, rampant illegal mining and illegal transportation going on rapidly. Reports said mining activities were going on without requisite forest and environmental clearance.

Locals have been opposing the expansion of production capacity from the existing 2.2 million TPA to 3.5 million TPA of Roida-2 iron mines of the Khatau Narbheram and Co situated at Tanto village under Barbil tehsil under Joda division in Keonjhar.

Local in Joda-Barbil in Keonjhar and also in Gundichapada in Dhenkanal alleged that the Atha Group, which runs KN Ram Mines and a plant, severely violating Forest and Environment laws and mines and minerals explorations and transportation acts. The Company, which mostly operates in Odisha and Jharkhand, looted crores of rupees of mines and minerals from Sundargarh-Koenjhar mining belt of Odisha. Besides, the company engaged in two foreign countries including South Africa and Singapore and doing export and import business of minerals and coals.

A CBI raid at Joda, Dhenkanal , Bhubaneswar and Kolkata would unearth illegal mining work of the KN Ram and Co and Atha Group company after Odisha Government extended its lease period till March 31, 2010, said an activists in Bhubaneswar.

The Atha Group is being involved in Iron Ore Coal mining, Manufacture of Sponge Iron & Billets and Captive Power Plant, Generation of renewable energy through Wind Mills., Generation of renewable energy through Solar Power Plants, Manufacture of Calcined Petroleum Coke (CPC), Import of Coal/Coke & Export of Iron Ore/Iron Ore fines and International initiatives in Mining and Mineral Resources. Most of which are running illegally while violating many Government provisions and laws.

The Group is be led by Kishore Kumar Atha,Dilip Kumar Atha,Gaurav Atha,Vishal Atha and Bharat Atha with many others in Board of Director.Kolkata-based mining and minerals group Atha is investing Rs 3,100 crore for expanding its renewable energy capacity to 1,000 megawatt (MW) by 2022 from the present 200 MW. The 60-year-old group targets to achieve it through organic and inorganic routes in India and overseas markets.

About 500 MW of the planned capacity will be built in India and the remaining abroad. Through its renewable energy arm AMPL Cleantech, the group is also looking to raise funds from abroad and is also in negotiations to rope in a strategic partner and investors.

AMPL Cleantech has a presence in Southern Africa and South East Asia especially Kenya , Tanzania , Mozambique and Namibia.

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