Orissa suspends licences of 482 ore traders


Bhubaneswar : Intensifying its crackdown on illegal mining, the Orissa government has suspended licences of at least 482 traders of different ores after they failed to produce adequate documents, officials said here Wednesday.

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The licences were suspended during the past few days. “They were given licences for storage of different ores including iron ore, coal, manganese, lime stones and bauxite. They are supposed to have various clearances.

“We have found inadequacies in their documents and they have been asked to suspend operations,” Orissa Steel and Mines Secretary Ashok Mohadeo Rao Dalwai told IANS.

“They are supposed to maintain accounts of their stocks. They are supposed to submit their monthly report to the government which they were not doing.”

“Their licences have been suspended. Show cause notices have been served. Now, on the basis of their explanation further action will be taken. It may lead to cancellation, restoration or just a penalty,” Dalwai said.

The state has approximately 600 mines and over 2,400 ore traders. Orissa started a crackdown on illegal mining in July following allegations by opposition politicians that some were operating without licences.

The state government had last month set up a task force headed by the chief secretary to check such illegal activities.

Earlier this week, the government had ordered suspension of work in 69 mines after the operators failed to produce documents to show their mining activities were legal.