BJP, former CM Koda warn of iron ore scam in Jharkhand
BJP state president Dipak Prakash met state Governor Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday and submitted a detailed memorandum apprising her of alleged loot of iron ore, coal and sand in the state since the UPA government came into power in Jharkhand
BJP state president Dipak Prakash met state Governor Droupadi Murmu on Wednesday and submitted a detailed memorandum apprising her of alleged loot of iron ore, coal and sand in the state since the UPA government came into power in Jharkhand.
The matter first came to the fore after BJP leader and former State Khadi Board member Kulwant Singh Bunty tweeted to chief minister Hemant Soren about revenue loss worth ₹50-60 crore a couple of days ago.
“Mineral resources like iron, coal and sand are being looted freely here since the UPA government came into power. The Congress is the mastermind behind this while the JMM is cooperating and collaborating to keep it going,” Prakash said after meeting the Governor.
“Thakurani iron mine in West Singhbhum district was earlier allotted to Padma Kumar Jain, but the state government cancelled the lease of this mine spread on 84.6 hectares in 2019. Before this, the Supreme Court had ordered to collect fines from 347 mines for illegal mining in 2017. A fine of ₹334.47 crore was levied on Padma Kumar Jain too. The court ordered to collect the fine amount by auctioning the previously mined stocks of iron ore,” said Prakash.
He alleged that the state was losing huge revenue worth crores due to the negligence of the state government and vested into the interest of certain mining department officials.
“I have requested the Governor to stall the Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation (JSMDC) tender order for auction, besides doing grade rating of the ore samples by a competent agency outside the state and taking strong action against officials found guilty,” Prakash said.
He has given copies of the tender document, grade rating order on May 30, mining plan submitted to Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) and monthly returns filed by the company with the state government and IBM to the Governor.
Meanwhile, former CM Madhu Koda has also warned against imminent iron ore scam in the district again. “Iron mines in the district are closed on paper, however, illegal mining hasn’t stopped. The state is losing revenue worth crores in the form of iron ore coming from Odisha in connivance of mining officers and local police,” said Koda, who was himself a convict in a coal scam worth ₹4000 crore and an accused in the iron ore scam worth over ₹2000 crore.
“I have been keeping CM Hemant Soren informed about the grading of iron ore in Thakurani Mine in Gua. Now mining department has come out with an amended notification extending the date of the JSMDC tender. But I had demanded a fresh grading as Padma Kumar Jain has claimed the grade of ore and fines to be 55-65 in its report to IBM whereas government laboratory has put the grading at 39-55,” Kulwant Singh Bunty said.
“The state may lose ₹5000 per tonne due to this difference in grading percentage. The ore and fines with the grading of 55-65% are currently priced at ₹9000 per tonne. If the grading comes out below this, the price will fall to ₹3000 per ton, resulting in loss to the tune of ₹50-60 crore,” added Kulwant.