The Odisha forest & environment (F&E) department has sought some key information from the mines department in order to process the proposals for forest diversion at the time of lease renewal and issue of temporary working permission.
The F&E department alleges that the mines department has not furnished information on changes in the validity, ownership and area of mining leases effected by the latter.
It has also sought information on current lease status including suspension, keeping in abeyance, revocation, expiry of validity, determination, processing of lapsing proposals and other modification in leases including revision of mining lease area.
It has also asked the steel & mines department to ensure that transfer of leases with forest land from one user agency to another is allowed and transfer lease deed executed subsequently only with prior permission of Union ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) as provided under para 2.8 of Forest Conservation Act.
Further, the department has sought copies of proceedings, letter of intent, grant orders and lease deed executed for the leases having forest land.
Whenever there is change of ownership, the new lessee should not be allowed to operate until the lessee obtains permission from MoEF under Forest Conservation Act for the entire forest land coming within the lease area along with fulfillment of other statutory clearances, the F&E deparment clarified.