By Bizodisha Bureau, Bhubaneswar, June 29, 2019: Two dozen mines are all set to face the wrath of the state like freezing bank accounts for failing to pay fines ordered by the Supreme Court for overproducing minerals.

The Apex Court in August 2017 had ordered compensation by these miners while adjudicating in a case of rampant illegal mining in Odisha filed by the NGO Common Cause. These mine operators have not paid even a single rupee as compensation for producing mineral ores in breach of approved limits between 2000-01 and 2010-11.

The state government has already filed certificate cases at the district level against a total 39 mine lease holders. However, 15 have made partial payments and have pledged to pay the balance, official said adding that for the rest 24 miners, the state government has directed the district authorities to launch coercive action- attaching properties and freezing bank accounts.

Mid-East Integrated Steels Ltd, B K Mohanty, Arjun Ladha, Ferro Alloys Corporation (FACOR), B C Deb and S N Das Mohapatra are among the 24 miners.

Between 2000-01 and 2010-11, miners had illegally unearthed 215.5 million tonnes or iron and manganese ore. The Supreme Court had expressed grave concern over the rapacious scale of mining operations.

Acting upon the court order, the state government had issued show-cause notices to 131 miners for compensation. Separately, the government had raised demand of about Rs 2000 crore as penalty on the lessees for violating forest laws.

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