On December 10, 2012, the minister of mines, Dinsha Patel, submitted his views on illegal mining to the Rajya Sabha. This was in response to an unstarred question (no.1972). The reply provided details of what the government had been doing to stop the menace of illegal mining. Towards the end of his reply he also tabled an annexure giving out details of the incidences of illegal mining reported in various states.

Curiously, nobody remarked on two details that had been tabled. One: no details of illegal mining in North-Eastern States were available. This was strange because preliminary investigations of the CBI into the Saradha chit fund scam showed that at least Rs1,000 crore had been invested in illegal mining in the NorthEast. In fact photographic evidence put up by photographers at http://www.businessinsider.com/photos-indias-illegal-coal-mines-2012-10?op=1 provided damning evidence of the exploitative conditions under which illegal mining in the North-East flourished. They exploited people, and they exploited the government as well. The biggest beneficiaries were investors like the Saradha and its powerful supporters.

Two: everyone had chosen to remain silent about Maharashtra. After all, as the tabled data showed, for three consecutive years Maharashtra had the highest number of incidences of illegal mining. The state had registered 40,642 cases in 2011-2012 of a total of 94,599 cases documented by all the states (except the North-East).

In other words, Maharashtra accounted for almost 43% of all illegal mining cases in India (http://www.dnaindia.com/money/report-supreme-court-continues-to-search-for-ways-to-deal-with-illegal-mining-will-it-take-the-right-one-1985027). These figures were reiterated by the government in its submission before the Lok Sabha on August 23, 2013, in response to another unstarred question (no. 2391). And yet, nobody wanted to rock the biggest promoter of illegal mining. Read more

Courtesy: dna

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