LUCKNOW: To ensure adequate safety for its staff from the mining mafia in Uttar Pradesh, the directorate of geology and mines has sought police protection for the mining inspectors. The directorate has also asked for blue beacon cars for the mining inspectors.

Sources say it is the primary responsibility of the mining inspectors to ensure that no illegal mining takes place in their area of jurisdiction. “However, in absence of adequate protection, the life of the mining inspectors is always under danger, and with every passing day, the danger quotient is going up,” sources add.

Admitting that mining inspectors face threat in the field areas, director of geology and mines, Chakrapani, said, “We have sent two letters; one to the home ministry and another to the transport ministry, and have requested to the state government that two armed policemen be posted with each mining inspector. In addition, we have also sought beacon cars for each mining inspector on the lines of vehicles being issued to the forest, excise and police departments.”

He added that unlike Madhya Pradesh, where an IPS officer was crushed to death by a tractor trolley after he went to stop illegal mining, UP is fortunate as no loss of life of the officers on duty has taken place. “But, that does not mean, that we should not strengthen out safety measures,” Chakrpani said.

Narendra Kumar, a young IPS officer of 2009 batch, was brutally crushed to death under a stone-laden tractor trolley belonging to the illegal mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh. The incident happened on March 8, 2012, in broad daylight in the presence of eyewitnesses and Kumar’s team of policemen. Kumar, 30, was posted as sub-divisional police officer, Banmur, in Chambal district of Morena, Madhya Pradesh. Banmur industrial town is notorious for stone-mining.

Another area, where the department fares relatively bad is the strength of manpower. The director said, “As far as the post of mining officer is concerned, the total sanctioned posts are 10, and only one is empty. Of the total 46 posts of mining inspectors, at present 31 inspectors are posted, while 15 posts are vacant. The department, at present, has 17 surveyors against the sanctioned strength of 21.” He added that the directorate has recently sent a request for recruitment of 12 mining inspectors.

The director said on the revenue front, the department has fared reasonably well and last year, the total revenue earned was Rs 723 crore. “This year, our target is to cross the Rs 1000-crore mark,” he said.