SEMT to utilise green fund from minor minerals in Odisha

Bhubaneswar, July 11: The Odisha Government on
Monday decided to bring the environment management fund collected from all
minor mineral and sairat sources under State Environment Management Trust (SEMT)
for utilisation as per its mandate. 
Decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held
under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi at the State Secretariat
on Monday.
It was decided in the meeting that five percent of
the royalty of the minor minerals and all sairat sources would be collected as
per provisions in Odisha Minor Mineral Concession Rules. This fund would come
to State Environment Management Trust already constituted under the chairmanship
of Additional Chief Secretary (Finance).
Reviewing the processes involved in the collection
and utilisation of funds, Chief Secretary Padhi advised Member-Secretary State
Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) Rajiv Kumar to put the system of issuing
‘consent to operate’ the quarries online. The board was also advised to put the
option of offline mode open for those who find it convenient for them.
Member Secretary Kumar informed the meeting that the
authority to issue the ‘consent for operation’ would be delegated to its regional
offices in order to make the system easier and quicker.
After emerging out of the meeting, Principal Secretary
Forest and Environment Suresh Chandra Mohapatra told reporters that the SEMT constituted
from the year 2006 is presently working for environmental protection and
development in the State.
“Five percent of the royalty collected as per the
OMMC rules would add to its existing fund sources. The funds would be utilised
for environmental conservation, restoration and regeneration activities like
plantation both in rural and urban area, renovation of water bodies, creation
of eco-parks, plantation of the bald hills etc,” said Mohapatra.
Principal Secretary Steel and Mines Raj Kumar
Sharma, Principal Secretary Revenue and Disaster management Dr Mona Sharma,
Member Secretary OSPCB R Kumar, Director Environment Sraban Kumar Sinha, Director Mines Deepak Mohanty along with other senior officers from concerned
departments participated in the deliberations.

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