Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Illegal mining: Govt admits loss of Rs 658 cr

Illegal mining: Govt admits loss of Rs 658 cr
Times of India

State government has admitted on the floor of the House that illegal mining in Junagadh and Porbandar was to the tune of Rs 658 crore of which Rs 627 crore was only in Porbandar district.

Replying to a question on illegal mining, minister of state for mines Saurabh Patel said that in Junagadh about 113 cases of illegal mining were detected and the amount was working out to be around Rs 30.77 crore. He further said that the illegal mining amount in 86 cases was around Rs 627.21 crore.

However, Congress and BJP members shouted slogans against each other as the question was being discussed in the Assembly. There was a hue and cry when Patel alleged that he was willing to declare the names of politicians involved in illegal mining.

The government information stated the biggest theft was to the tune of Rs 119.71 crore, though it is yet to identify the accused. Patel said there was delay in recovery of the penalty and dues as appeals have been filed with the tribunals.

Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil alleged that the government was not uniform in taking action and was adopting a policy of choose and pick. Porbandar MLA Arjun Modhvadia alleged that in one case where the government has to recover Rs 250 crore, the accused could be seen sharing the dais with Chief Minister Narendra Modi and was also holding meeting with the minister. He said that all this took place during the time the accused was absconding.

Patel said the government has not adopted the policy of choose and pick and all the accused, irrespective of their party affiliation, were dealt in an uniform manner. He even said that the central government too had congratulated the Gujarat government for taking action against illegal mining.

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