Tata Steel, which suspended mining at its Sukhinda chromite mines in Odisha in January after the mining lease expired and fresh environmental clearance was rejected, awaits nod from the government to resume operation.
In its April 16 meeting, the expert appraisal committee for mining recommended the union environment ministry to allow Tata Steel resume operation in the mines.
The environment ministry is yet to take a decision on the recommendation. The committee also recommended allowing the firm to change technology from open cast to underground mining. The recommendation now awaits a final nod from the environment minister.
The expert appraisal committee, at its April meeting, also considered the complaints submitted by the Biju Swabhiman Dal on violations of clearance provisions by Tata Steel.
It charged the company of illegal mining-extracting more chromium than it had been permitted under the clearance provisions. A Tata Steel representative who was present at the meeting replied to all these issues.
The panel, "based on the information submitted, presentation made and discussions held regarding the responses made by the project proponent," recommended the project for environmental clearance.