Shivankar demands action against MOIL CMD

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Nagpur, May 21 (UNI) Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Chimur Mahadeorao Shivankar has demanded a CBI inquiry into the affairs of the city-based public sector undertaking Manganese Ore India Limited (MOIL) and the arrest of its chief for violation of forest law.

Speaking to reporters here yesterday, Mr Shivankar said that action should be taken against MOIL Chairman-cum-Managing Director K L Mehrotra for blatant violation of the Forest Conservation Act 1980. Although MOIL had permission from the Ministry of Environment and Forests to start an underground mine in Chikla in Bhandara district in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, the company had started an opencast mine, he said.

The ministry had asked MOIL to carry out plantation in the area and construct a stonewall fencing, but the company had not done so, Mr Shivankar said. In fact, MOIL was carrying out mining activities in Chikla beyond the boundaries specified by the ministry, he said.

There was large-scale theft of manganese ore from various mines of the company, with employees acting hand-in-glove with unscrupulous elements, Mr Shivankar alleged, and claimed that he had personally caught trucks carrying out ore from mines without proper authorisation. ''This is not possible without the knowledge of the company head. The CMD is fully responsible,'' the MP said.

Mr Shivankar said that he would seek an appointment with Prime Minister Dr Mamohan Singh, besides Union Minister for Steel Ram Vilas Paswan and Minister for Environment and Forests A Raja, to apprise them of the matter. He had written to Dr Singh, Mr Paswan, Mr Raja, Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivrajsingh Chouhan on the issue, the MP said while releasing copies of the letter to the press. He would also raise the issue in Parliament, he added.

MOIL is a public sector undertaking with shareholding by the Government of India and the governments of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It is the country's largest producer of manganese ore, a vital raw material for steel manufacturing.

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