While interacting with media persons, Director of Mines of Odisha government Deepak Mohanty ruled out regular mining beyond the mining lease area in Keonjhar district.
Mohanty denied ‘systematic’ mining activities in non-lease areas as alleged by some petitioners before the Justice MB Shah Commission of Inquiry.
Senior Congress leader and Editor of local daily ‘The Sambad’, Soumya Ranjan Patnaik in a petition to the Commission submitted that while the commission is inquiring into illegal mining in leased areas, there has been no monitoring on illegal activities beyond the leased area.
The director said certain old pits were found beyond mining lease area in Keonjhar district by the State-level enforcement squad and officials of Forest and Mines Department. However, he ruled out regular mining in those pits.
The old pits were used locally for extracting minerals long time back. But this has been stopped after enforcement, he said.
Mohanty further informed that the state government would soon submit its report to the Shah panel on the alleged illegal mining activities in non-lease areas.
Justice Shah probing into illegal mining activities in the State had asked State Government to submit a report on the alleged illegal mining beyond lease areas after it was brought to his notice during the public hearing.