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Around 20 mines across the country would be put to auction soon, Union Secretary for Mines Balvinder Kumar said here today. Of the total 17 mines auctioned so far after amendment of the MMDA Act, the highest 7 blocks belonged to Karnataka. One mining block of Odisha has been auctioned so far, Kumar said after a discussion with Odisha Chief Secretary A P Padhi here. He asked the state government to take steps for execution of lease deeds of 60 mines in the state. "We reviewed all cases. We called mines owners also.
They explained the cases and I have also requested the chief secretary that the state government should give priority to these cases," Kumar said. If these lease deeds were not executed by January 11, 2017, they would lapse. "So, it is a matter of concern for the central government also. We want all these cases of lease deed be executed," he said. On the dispute with aluminium major Nalco over water cess, Kumar said, "There was some dispute over payment of water charges for the Damanjoi and Angul units of Nalco. We are hopeful that matter will be resolved soon." Sources said Nalco, which is to pay around Rs 40 crore as water tax, has agreed to clear the pending due to the state.
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