B Prabhakaran led ‘Mines Lobby’ smiles back as Centre hikes Ceiling on Lease Area

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    By Our Business Affairs Bureau

    JODA/BARBIL/KOIRA/BHUBANESWAR: With Central Government hiking ceiling on mining lease area percentage by 6 times more from 10 sq to 58 sq and several mines expiring by March 31, 2020, no mines in hand but works in dozen over mines, India’s one of the most controversial figure in mining sector, B Prabhakaran of Salem, Tamil Nadu, proved his mettle again.

    Sources said, Prabhakaran led the mining lobby pressure on Naveen Patnaik Government through his good contacts in CMO and succeeded with Union Government agreeing over the proposal of the State Government to hike the mining lease area.

    The Union Mines Ministry after due scrutiny has heeded the state government’s call to hike the ceiling on lease area for iron ore and associated minerals to 58 square kilometres (sq km).The revision in mineral lease cap clears the impasse to the seamless hosting of iron ore auctions by Odisha. Under Section 6 (1) (b) of MMDR Act, any leaseholder with 10 square kilometres (km) or more area in its control is debarred from acquiring any more mining lease in a state.

    Odisha is the largest producer of the steel making ingredient, producing 114 million tonnes (mt) in FY19, accounting for more than 50 per cent of the nationwide iron ore output of 207 mt.The mines ministry’s latest notification has spelt a bout of relief to iron ore auctions stalled since last fiscal owing to the tussle over the proposed revising of area limits.

    By invoking sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the Mines and Minerals Development & Regulation (MMDR) Act of 1957, the Mines ministry has hiked the area limit of mining lease in respect of iron ore and associated minerals to the extent of 58 sq km in Odisha. Backing its decision, the ministry said the mining lease area limit needed to be enhanced to facilitate supply of iron ore and associated minerals in the interest of development of the steel industry.

    The ministry also took note of Odisha’s repository of iron ore, its status as the largest ore producer and its role in the future to help the country reach its envisaged crude steel production target of 300 mt by 2030.Quoting figures from the National Mineral Inventory 2015 published by the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), the ministry said the total iron ore resources in the state have been assessed at 7558 mt.

    With this move, barring few Central PSUs like SAIL, more private players will be largely benefited. Mostly were, Tata, Essel Mining of Aditya Birla Group,  Rungta Group, KJS Ahluwalia, KN Ram Mines, DR Patnaik, Serrajuddin and Company, JSPL and Jindal Stainless Steel, MGM Mines, SN Mohanty Mines, MESCO Steel and AMTCL will be benefited, where B Prabhakaran doing exploration work largely.

    The studied silence maintained by India’s one of the most controversial figure in mining sector, B Prabhakaran of Salem, Tamil Nadu, proved that his company, Thriveni Earth Movers Pvt Ltd, working in Odisha’s mineral rich Keonjhar and Sundargarh district, is continuing its illegal mining business with help of some IAS officers and ruling BJD leaders in Odisha.

    Bhubaneswar headquarters’ www.indianewsdiary.com, which has been following Prabhakaran’s illegal business network in Odisha and his influence in Naveen Patnaik led BJD administration , however had emailed  10 questions asking the TEMPL CMD to reply but after near a week, no answer from Prabhakaran’s office.

    Despite several attempts on TEMPL’s landline telephone no(06746770050), no response yet.www.indianewsdiary.com has been trying since a very long time to get reaction of Prabhakaran but not possible till now. Prabhakaran hired a good number of people from South India , particularly from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh for his mining work while people of local areas in Joda, Barbil and Koira are suffering a lot due to lack of work. Few weeks back, locals have called a press meet against Prabhakaran’s love for non-Odia workers and labourers.

    Why CBI silent on  TEMPL Group? Looting continuing in Keonjhar-Sundargarh. The TEMPL, which has no  mines in Odisha, however despite Mining Scam, Justice MB Shah Commission probe, Vigilance probe, probe by ED and subsequent, new Mines and Minerals( Development and Explorations) Act of 2015, running its illigal mining network in Odisha’s mineral rich Keonjhar-Sundargarh district.

    It looted Rs 30,000 crore from Keonjhar-Sundargarh through illigal mining since past 10 years.A spot visit to  TEMPL’s Joda Central Office, will only tell you the truth , how illegal mining is continuing now also.

    Several environmental and wildlife activists have demanded a CBI probe .The company involved in illegal mining. Illegal mining and transportation continuing as it illegally hatched good relations with Odisha Government and Indian Bureau of Mines officials.

    “We demand CBI probe  and arrest of  B Prabhakaran for illegal mining, air, water pollution, wildlife and forest act violation and violation of mines and minerals act,” PN Swain, a leading wildlife activist said.

    This apart, company played a key role in Odisha mining scam and violated Mines and Minerals Act, Mines and Minerals Regulation Act of 1957’s section 21. The company involved in illegal mining, theft and transportation. The company has violated pollution control act of 1986, air pollution control act of 1981, water pollution control act of 1974 and forest rights act of 1980.

    Companies were supposed to extract mining with clearance of air and water pollution control under various acts like Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and consent to operate under the Water (PCP) Act, 1974 and Air (PCP) Act, 1981.

    The firm has been violating forest and wildlife laws .The Company, which is also creating air and water pollution while defying orders of Odisha State Pollution Control Board and Union Forest and Environment Ministry. Action should have taken against the company under Forest Conservation Act, 1980 and Odisha Forest Act-1972 and Mines and Minerals Act. But instead , the company got extension to run its closed mines.

    Company which operating without valid consent to operate should have been issued closure directions or will be prosecuted as per the provisions in Water (PCP) Act, 1974 and Air(PCP) Act, 1981.While granting “consent to operate”, it will be ensured that the proponent has obtained all other statutory clearances under Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.The Company has no respect to labour laws, they said.

    “The State government had shot off a missive to the Union Mines Ministry, to revise the area limit to 58 sq km for iron ore and associated minerals. The State government’s argument is premised on the fact that SAIL, a central PSU, possesses approximately 55.01 sq km of mine lease area in Odisha. Besides, 2.77 sq km area has been reserved by the Central government for exploration and exploitation through SAIL. But Prabhakaran led lobby worked and finally Mines Ministry admitted,” added another source close to the development.

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