‘47K illegal mining cases between Jan-Sep`11’

The country has witnessed a spurt in illegal mining with 47,254 cases recorded in January-September 2011 period, Mines Minister Dinsha Patel said.

New Delhi: The government on Monday said it has detected illegal mining in various states with over 47,000 cases and has resorted to a multi-pronged strategy including setting up of an Inquiry Commission and asking states to make action plans.

"Unregulated mining has the potential to cause serious damage...Illegal mining primarily results in loss of royalty revenues to the state governments," Mines Minister Dinsha Patel told Rajya Sabha.

The country has witnessed a spurt in illegal mining with 47,254 cases recorded in January-September 2011 period, he said.

The number of such cases in 2010 was 73,115 and in 2009 was 41,578.

Replying to queries on spurt of illegal mining, Patel told the Upper House that the government was serious to tackle the issue and had realised a fine to the tune of Rs 632 crore from illegal miners besides seizing 1,90,000 vehicles used in them.

Describing measures to curb the menace, he said, "the central government had constituted special task forces for inspection of mines in endemic areas, which has conducted inspections in a total of 454 mines in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Jharkhand and Gujarat and suspended 155 mines."

Besides, he said, the Centre has set up Justice M B Shah Inquiry Commission for Illegal Mining "to inquire into the nature and extent of mining and trade adn transportation done illegally...Tampering of official records...Overall impact of such mining and the financial losses caused."

Apart from this, the states have been asked to make action plans with specific measures to deal with it, Patel said adding, a Central Coordination cum Empowered Committee has also been set up under Secretary Mines to look into it.

Besides, registration with Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) has been made mandatory for all miners, traders, stockists, exporters and end-users.

"As on March 19, out of 9,390 mining leases in the country, 7,896 mining leases have registered online with the IBM. The IBM has suspended 1,460 mines for non-compliance and initiated prosecution in 4 cases and recommended 21 cases to state governments for termination," it added.


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