Nishank alleges massive mining scam in Uttarakhand; demands CBI probe

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Dehradun, Jul 14: Alleging a mining scam worth thousands of crores in Uttarakhand, former chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank has demanded a CBI probe into the illegal mining activities in the Ganga and other rivers' bed.

"Trucks loaded with illegally mined material are being dispatched to Uttar Pradesh and other states from Uttarakhand by the mining mafia in collusion with politicians and officials. Despite being aware of all this, the state government has chosen to be a silent spectator," Nishank told reporters here yesterday.

Alleging that the mining scam in Uttarakhand must run into thousand crores of rupees, Nishank said a CBI probe must be ordered into the scam to ascertain the truth and punish the guilty.

He also accused companies engaged by the state government for the reconstruction work in calamity-hit areas of compromising on quality, saying his charge was substantiated by the recent collapse of an under-construction bridge in Uttarkashi which claimed life of one labourer.

Alleging that people in affected regions were still without a roof even after a year of the Kedarnath tragedy, he demanded a white paper on steps taken by the state government to rebuild lives in devastated areas.

However, Chief Minister Harish Rawat's media incharge Surendra Kumar dismissed the allegations saying it was part of the "BJP's conspiracy to malign the state government and divert people's attention from the issue of price rise."

Asking Nishank to also have a CBI probe instituted into "scams" during his tenure as CM, Kumar said, "he can't escape from his own responsibility by pointing an accusing finger on others."

PTI

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