The Department of Steel and Mines, Government of Odisha has decided not to renew the MoU signed with Deepak Steel and Power Ltd after the promoter of the company was found to be involved in illegal mining activity.
The Department has cancelled the trading licence of the company and asked the miners not to sell iron ore to the firm. The company operating Uliburu iron ore mines in Joda mining circle under the power of attorney received from original lease holder B K Mohanty, is accused of raising ore from an adjacent plot categorised as reserve forest area and is said to have made money worth Rs 1,800 crore by exporting the mineral.
In 2005, Deepak Steel & Power Ltd had proposed to set up a 0.25 million tpa steel plant at Topodih (Barbil) entailing an investment of Rs 195.31 crore. In 2010, the company was asked to expedite work on its project and furnish a report to the state government on the state of land acquisition and actual investments grounded as soon as possible. It was warned that if it failed to submit the details then its MoU may be cancelled.
Miner B K Mohanty, who had authorised Gupta to operate the iron ore lease, has been issued notice by the Joda deputy director of mines (DDM) for illegal mining and selling of minerals worth Rs 1,776 crore.
Meanwhile, the Shah Commission has asked for clarification on the illegal activities in Mohanti’s lease-hold area.