IBM detects illegal mining worth Rs 226.04 crore
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 14:18
  
Nagpur: Minerals worth Rs 226.04 crore were illegally mined in various states across the country last fiscal, according to the findings of the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), which monitors and prevents such unlawful activities.

In the 2010-11 fiscal year, 14,204 cases of illegal mining of 43.584 lakh tonnes of major minerals, valued at Rs 71.52 crore, were detected. In 775 cases, FIRs were lodged with authorities and legal proceedings have been launched in 514 cases.

Fines to the tune of Rs 122.33 crore were realised from the defaulters, official sources said on Tuesday.

In the case of minor minerals, 77,431 cases of illegal mining, totalling 34.427 lakh tonnes worth Rs 154.52 crore, were reported in various states.

About 766 FIRs were lodged with the police and court proceedings initiated in 9,078 cases. Penalties to the tune of Rs 143.94 crore have been recovered from the illegal miners, they said.

Through the IBM, the Centre constituted a task force and conducted an inspection of mines in areas where the problem of illegal mining was rampant by taking the help of satellite imaging.

IBM Controller General C S Gundewar said the inspections were conducted between December, 2009, and March, 2011, in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa.

He said about 434 mines holding minerals like iron ore, manganese ore, dolomite, limestone and bauxite were inspected by the task force.

Subsequently, IBM suspended mining operations in 150 mines and recommended the suspension of mining leases in nine cases to the state governments.

Quoting Section 23C of the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation (MMDR) Act, the Centre has issued directives to respective state governments to issue official notifications in the gazette to make rules for prevention of illegal mining, its transportation and storage.

In addition, the Centre advised them to establish check posts to stop the transportation of illegally mined minerals, set up weigh bridges to measure the quantity of minerals that are being transported and inspect and check minerals at the place of excavation.

State governments have been requested to set up district and state-level task forces to curb illegal mining since the year 2005. But so far, only 21 states in the country have complied with the directives, official sources said.

As part of the major drive, the Centre has also decided to have better coordination with railways, ports and customs officials to prevent the export of illegally mined minerals.

State governments are also armed with Section 100 of the CrPC, which empowers them to conduct a search under warrant, sources said.

PTI


First Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011, 14:18


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