Bhubaneswar: At least 41 mining projects received nod of Government of India in Odisha during the past five years.
While approval for two mineral blocks in the private sector was given in Odisha in 2017-18, one mining project of a PSU was given green signal.
In 2019-20, Odisha received approval for 23 mining blocks in the private sector, while one mineral block for PSU received the nod of the Union Government.
In 2020-21, Odisha received approval for one mining project of a private sector player and three mining blocks received nod of the Union Government.
In 2021-22, nine private players received approval for their mineral blocks, while no such approval was provided to any PSU during this period.
So while during the last 05 years, 35 Mining Projects were approved in favour of Private Sector and 06 Mining Blocks have been approved by Government of India for PSUs.
The Mines and Mineral (Development & Regulation) Act, 1957 was amended with effect from 12 January 2015 whereby an auction regime was introduced for grant of mineral concessions.
This system was introduced to bring in greater transparency and remove discretion at all levels in grant of mineral concessions. The auction is carried out by the respective State Governments.
In addition to auction, mineral concessions are also granted to the Government companies through area reservation as per Section 17A of the MMDR Act 1957.
During the last five years, 133 mineral blocks have been auctioned by various state governments to private Companies in the country.
The approval of the Central Government was conveyed to the various State Governments for 16 proposals for reservation of area under Section 17A of the MMDR Act 1957 in favour of Government Companies.
As per the information received from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, a total of 19267.47 hectares of forest land has been diverted due to mining activities in the last 5 years.
At least 7928.62 Hectares of forest Land has been diverted due to mining activities in the last five years.