Coal Minister concerned over poor law and order in Jharkhand

Law and order situation in Maoist-affected Jharkhand is not `fully satisfactory`, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said in Ranchi.

Last Updated: Apr 14, 2011, 18:23 PM IST

Ranchi: Law and order situation in
Maoist-affected Jharkhand is not "fully satisfactory", Coal
Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal said on Thursday.

"The state should take law and order seriously to
strengthen it as progress of a state depends on good law and
order. Who will set up industry if officials are kidnapped and
killed?”, Jaiswal told a news conference in Ranchi.

He was replying to a query on the recent killing of a
Reliance Power executive Manoj Kumar Ojha and another official
of a private company in the state.

Reminding the state government that the Centre has
been funding police modernisation and purchase of weapons
to strengthen law and order, Jaiswal said law and order had
become the priority area for infrastructural development.

Providing electricity, water, road or any
infrastructure would remain incomplete if law and order
situation remained a matter of concern in any state, he added.

Expressing satisfaction at the Central Coalfield
Limited`s progress to achieve its revised target of coal
production after a review meeting, Jaiswal said there was no
more shortage of railway rakes, which had given a boost to
coal companies to increase their production.

Stating that Maoist menace in Jharkhand had also its
impact in coal production, Jaiswal said coal production had
"incurred a huge loss" due to the naxalite problem.

On alleged rampant illegal mining in Jharkhand, the
coal minister said it was the responsibility of the state to
curb such activities.

"We have been meeting chief ministers (of different states) with a request to strengthen policing to stop illegal
coal mining. So far there is no effective result," he said in
reply to a query as what the coal sector was doing to prevent
illegal mining.

"Even I have come across a report terming it (illegal
mining) as a cottage industry," claimed Jaiswal.

On Jharia rehabilitation issue, the minister blamed
the neighbouring states of Jharkhand and West Bengal for its
alleged delay.

"The Centre has approved a package of Rs 10,000 crore
eighteen months ago and asked these two governments to start
the process of rehabiliation in Jharia. But only one meeting
took place," he said.

As per the package, the families residing in Jharia
township have to be rehabilitated elsewhere following raging
underground coal fire at Jharia area in Dhanbad district of
Jharkhand.

PTI