SC Allows Odisha’s Sarda Mines To Resume Ops, But With A Rider

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New Delhi: Providing relief to mining company Sarda Mines Pvt Ltd. (SMPL), the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed it to resume mining operations in Odisha subject to deposit of Rs 933 crore towards environmental compensation by February 29.

A bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant also allowed Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) to transport high-quality iron ore lying in SMPL’s Thakurani block mines.

The top court, however, made it clear that the Naveen Jindal-led JSPL can transport the iron-ore only after SMPL pays Rs 933 crore towards compensation for the environment, news agency PTI reported.

On January 16, the apex court had said it was “not averse” to allowing JSPL to transport the high-quality iron ore lying stacked at the non-functional Sarda Mines for its pellet plant in Odisha while reserving its verdict in the case.

The top court had earlier taken an undertaking from SMPL for payment of Rs 933 crore towards environmental compensation to the state government.

SMPL was a supplier of a high-quality ore to the JSPL plant and was closed on March 31, 2014, for want of environment clearances.

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