Consultative Committee discusses measures to check illegal mining

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New Delhi, Mar 14 (UNI) The coal companies have initiated a number of steps to prevent illegal mining.

This includes conducting raids and seizing illegally mined coal, fencing of unused work areas, filling up of rat holes, sealing of exposed coal by dumping of overburden material, digging trenches, creation of concrete walls, regular and surprise raids by CISF and security personnel of coal companies.

This was stated by Minister of State for Coal Dr Dasari Narayan Rao during Parliamentary Consultative committee meeting of his Ministry here last evening.

Dr Rao said apart from this these coal companies have also introduced collection of intelligence, installation of check-post, filling of FIRs in police stations and close liaison with the state government authorities.

He said the Coal Ministry has been pursuing this matter with the state governments concerned on a regular basis. Illegal mining has serious consequences for the states in terms of loss of revenue, environmental hazards, law and order problems, unscientific exploitation and resultant wastage of a precious natural resources and safety hazards, he added.

Dr Rao said that he has discussed the issue with the Chief Ministers of Jharkhand and West Bengal who agreed to look into the matter and to instruct the administrative machinery for taking effective steps. Besides this, the State Governments have also initiated some concrete steps.

Jharkhand government has constituted Task Forces at the state and district levels. In West Bengal also, Task Forces have been constituted at the state and district levels. Joint action for prevention of illegal mining has been initiated by the coal companies and District Collectors.

He said, the Central Government has constituted a Committee to look into various aspects of illegal mining of coal. The Committee is headed by the Minister and has representation from the States of West Bengal and Jharkhand at the level of Minister-in-charge of Mining and Leaders of opposition in the Legislative Assemblies.

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