The Vigilance department has registered 11 criminal cases pertaining to illegal mining since 2008-09. These cases have been registered against two joint directors of mines, five deputy directors of mines, four mining officers, six mining inspectors of the mines department and one former director (mines).
In addition, cases have also been registered against two IFS officers, tow range officers, one officer of the transport department, 11 mines owners and three contractors under Section 3 of Forest Conservation Act based on the facts and circumstances of the individual cases.
These cases are under investigation and no charge sheet has been filed yet.
This was informed by the state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the state legislative assembly. During the course of enquiry and investigation, the vigilance department has been availing the expertise and assistance of the officials of mining, geology, forest, revenue, commercial taxes, the State Pollution Control Board as well as surveyors, engineers and analytical chemists.
“The Vigilance has initiated 1497 cases between 1994 and 1999; 1476 cases between 2005 and 2009 and 1790 cases from 2009 till June 30, 2010. From 1994 till June 30 this year, 4582 cases were disposed of which includes the cases initiated prior to 1994. Out of these, charge sheets have been filed in 3462 cases while 1121 cases returned as final reports. Investigation is pending for the remaining 732 cases”, said Patnaik.
Earlier, the state government had announced that around four lakh tonnes of illegally mined minerals including iron ore, manganese and bauxite were seized from the Joda-Barbil and Koira regions of Keonjhar district between April 2009 and May 2010.
Other diginatories which are attending the meeting include heads of the PSUs and state energy secretaries
Notably, the government has not touched the basic custom of duty of steel scrap, which is at 2.5%