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Anti-Naxal operations to free mineral zones

R Krishna Das  |  Kolkata/ Raipur 

The much talked-about joint operation against the Naxalite guerrillas will not only help solving the problem of Leftist insurgency but also free large area endowed with rich minerals.

The Centre is planning a major offensive against the rebels in central India. Since the security personnel are likely to enter into the forests, the “liberated zones” of the red army is likely to be freed and come under the control of government authorities. The “liberated zones” of the Leftist guerrillas in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh contain some of the most precious and valuable minerals. But the state authorities could not explore the minerals as the area had been under the control of rebels.

Sources in the state mineral resources department said that the interior areas of Bastar region-- the worst Naxalite-infested pocket in the country—contained huge deposits of precious gem stone varieties including corundum besides rich minerals like tin ore, iron-ore, columbite and so on.

Some pockets of the region contain rich radio-active minerals of strategic importance. But the mining authorities are unable to use the mineral and even start the exploration work after Naxalite terror.

“The department knows about the deposits but is helpless to start work on the projects as Naxalites will not not allow us to enter into the area,” a senior official with the mining department told Business Standard requesting anonymity.

Though the rebels are not allowing officials to start work, even Naxalites cannot use the minerals. “For mining, heavy equipment and skilled manpower are required that Naxalites lack,” the official said. The rebels are holding the mineral-rich lands under their sway.

First Published: Fri, October 30 2009. 00:30 IST