Lease again for scam-hit mining firm

Keonjhar: Despite opposition from various quarters, the district administration has given permission to lease the extension of scam-tainted Serajuddin Mine. The lease of Serajuddin Mine expired December 2, but the collector issued a letter renewing the lease.
Serajuddin has its iron ore mine at Balda in the Joda mining circle. The employees of the mining giant had been pulling strings with the administration since some days for getting the lease extended. Some outfits and locals sought to know how the scam-tainted mining firm could be given permission to extend the lease. They said they will challenge the administration’s nod to the mining company.
Environmentalists said that NGT had recently ordered MoEF to probe the violation of environment norms by the mining company. Joda mining circle deputy director Sushant Kumar Nayak said the mining lease of the company was extended due to the recommendation of the state government.
The deputy director of Joda mining circle had earlier said that if the company failed to obtain extension of its lease by December 1, it would be asked to close the mine.
The firm, which has been embroiled in a mining scam, has been running its business without setting up an industrial unit and doing little for the people living in the district.
The company had been making big bucks by exporting iron ore since 1962, but has not yet set up a facility for value addition. Besides, the profit-making company has not carried out any public welfare work. Locals have been opposing its lease extension as nothing was done for them.
The company was also accused of snatching the livelihoods of local people through mechanized mining. Since years, local people and labourers had been fighting the company, but the latter had suppressed them with the help of politicians and the administration.
Though the company’s mining has been damaging forests, wildlife, waterfalls, streams and tribals, the administration did not bother. The mining was also polluting the air, but the pollution regulatory body had ignored it.

PNN

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