The Odisha government has served notices to 103 iron ore mining lease holders, including Tata Steel Ltd and the Aditya Birla Group's Essel Mining and Industries Ltd, for producing more iron ore than they are permitted, the state's steel and mines minister Rajanikant Singh's office has said.
''There are three lists of companies. There are a total of 103 cases and all the notices to them have been issued,'' officials in the state minister's office told sections of the media. ''These are names that the state government had given to the Indian Bureau of Mines earlier. As they did nothing, the state government is now taking action.''
The amount of fines involved is reportedly Rs67,900 crore - more than the union government expects to gain from a Supreme Court-ordered resale of telecom spectrum.
The Odisha government has already slapped a fine of about Rs6,000 crore on Tata Steel alone for its alleged involvement in "illegal and excess mining" from its captive iron ore mines, as reported by Domain-b earlier.
The company was prompt to reply: ''Tata Steel has received notice from the government, and we will revert to the government with our submission. We reiterate our contention that we have always undertaken mining in Odisha and also in other states where we operate with strict conformity with the existing laws,'' a Tata Steel statement issued on Monday said.
''We are confident of resolving the issue with the government amicably,'' Tata Steel added.