Cancel licences of 'C' mines by June, State told

The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on Thursday directed the State government to complete the process of cancellation of licences of all C category iron ore mines and auction them by June, 2013.

A three-member CEC team headed by its chairman P V Jayakrishnan is understood to have directed Chief Secretary S V Ranganath to soon submit a detailed proposal on auctioning these mines as per the SC directions. The government has to spell out the procedure to be followed and fix eligibility criteria to take part in the auction.

The team is learnt to have said that there is a need to give priority to the domestic steel industry in auction. The government has been asked to complete the process in a time-bound manner. The team has given a strict direction to the government to prevent illegal mining once auctioning is done.

Official sources said the process of cancellation of 51 C category mines will be taken up after consulting the Law department. The SC has categorised the mines as A, B and C, based on the extent of illegal mining. C category mines are those where illegal mining is rampant.
The meeting also decided to allow mining operations in A and B category mines, after the implementation of reclamation and rehabilitation plans by the lease holders.

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