Govt asks states to set up committees to check illegal mining
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Last Updated: Friday, July 02, 2010, 22:54
Kolkata: The Centre has asked all state governments to constitute high-level coordination-cum-empowered committees to counter the menace of illegal mining, which causes huge losses for the exchequer, Union Minister for Coal Sriprakash Jaiswal said here today.

It was found that at least 10,000 mafia groups operated in the country, mostly concentrating on collieries belonging to Coal India Ltd, and the annual plunder was not less than 5/6 million tonnes of coal, he said at a programme organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

He said that coal-producing areas, including Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh, were affected by illegal mining.

Coal India chairman Partha S Bhattacharyya, who also spoke on the issue, said that focus has to be given on underground mining because open cast mines would get exhausted.

He said that work began in this direction, but the pace of progress was not satisfactory. Smaller underground mines with a capacity of 1/2 mt should be developed in large number as bigger underground mines might face problems in getting environment clearance.

At present, only 10 per cent of the total coal production came from the underground mines, he said.


First Published: Friday, July 02, 2010, 22:54

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