“We have issued permission to Tata Steel to resume operations at its four mines in view of the high court order.” said Deepk Kumar Mohanty, Director of mines. The High Court has allowed operations in the mines till its final decision comes on 28 January.
Four of the iron mines- Bamebari, Katamati, Joda East and Joda West of Tata were issued suspension order on November 15 after the steel baron failed to renew its lease by that date. Tata steel had moved to the high court against the order.
The state government on 26 May had stopped mining works in 26 Iron and Manganese mines following a supreme court’s interim direction. The mines in question had their statuary licenses expired and they were yet to get their lease order renewed. But the mines were performing under the provision of deemed extension of lease a concession given in an Odisha mines rule.
The Supreme Court had held that the mines cannot continue operation until they get express orders from the state government.
Following the Supreme Court ruling, Odisha government passed express order for eight mines including the 4 mines of Tata, 3 mines of Sail and one of OMC, and asked them to produce all the statutory clearance in three months. Government allowed another three months till Nov 15 to get clearance. Only SAIL could get the clearance. So Tata mines were ordered out of operation for not getting the required clearances.
Tata mines had contested the government’s order in the Odisha High Court.