Nagpur: The decades old disgusting act of coal theft from WCL mines continues to hog headlines. Approximately, 10% of total coal mined in Western Coalfields Limited mines is being pilfered by coal mafia allegedly in connivance with WCL officials and transporters. This dubious act has been denting the revenue of the government in crores.
In the instant case, according to sources, a coal laden truck left for going to Gondgaon Coal Washery from Indar Mine was emptied slyly at Pardi area of Nagpur around 9.15 pm on Thursday. The truck was seized near Dumri Anna turning. However, the truck driver and the owner managed to escape. Following the compalint of authorised contractor Lodha Enterprises, Kanhan police took the truck in their possession for further course of action. But surprisingly, the AGM Abhas Singh, Kamptee Sub-Area Manager Vinay Kumar Singh, Coal Washery GM Deshmukh and In-Charge Juber Sheikh chose to turn a blind eye towards the incident. Takinh a serious view of this apathy, an INTUC leader Naresh Barve has decided to meet WCL CMD and raise the matter before him.
According to sources, coal is mined in Indar OCM, Gondgaon OCM, Kamptee OCM, Bhanegaon OCM, and Singori OCM in Saoner and Umred mines coming under WCL’s Nagpur Region. As per norms, the fresh and steam coal mined in Indar OCM, Gondgaon OCM, Kamptee OCM, Bhanegaon OCM, and Singori OCM, the transports should take the coal to Gondgaon Coal Washery or Dumri Coal Siding. But shockingly, 10% of the transported coal is being emptied at vacant plots of coal mafia in Pardi. This dubious business of pilferation of coal is being carried out allegedly in connivance with WCL officials and transporters, sources claimed.
Sources further said that as per rules, all the trucks transporting coal are equipped with GPRS system by WCL. But after loading coal, the transporters tamper with the GPRS system for taking the coal to Pardi in Nagpur. The GPRS system is removed from trucks and then put on two-wheelers with the motive to mislead the monitors.
In the instant case, the truck (MH-40/BL 3419) that left Indar OCM for Gondgaon Coal Washery reached Pardi by passing Kanhan Toll Post around 6.19 pm on Thursday. The coal laden truck was emptied at a plot allegedly belonging to one Chetan. And to cover up the illegal act, waste (poor quality coal and stones) was loaded in the truck and a seal was put at a petrol pump on Kamptee 4-lane road. However, some alert people, who were trailing the truck from WCL’s Indar mine itself, caught the truck Dumri Anna turning. The truck driver and owner, however, managed to escape. The matter was reported to Kanahn police in a written complaint by Lodha Enterprises and the truck was seized by the cops around 11 am on Friday.
Indulging in one trick or another, coal is stolen from the WCL mines itself. Sources said that coal mined in Indar and Gondgaon mines and laden in 2-3 trucks is thrown down the hills. Later, labourers are deployed for taking the coal to tals of Bhujang Pantaone, Krishna Yadav who sell it to retail customers. This dubious business is going on for years allegedly in connivance with the security guard of Gondgaon OCM Santosh Yadav and Kamptee Sub-Area’s Pal, sources said.
The coal mined at WCL mines is supplied to Mahagenco for its power plants at Koradi and Khaparkheda. However, in between the two power plants, 10% of coal is pilfered midway and in its place, poor quality of coal is sent to Mahagenco.
The theft of coal in massive quantities continues unabated in WCL mines. This dubious act has been denting the revenue of the government in crores. The coal smuggling business has been thriving since long, of course, in connivance with WCL’s Security Officers. At the same time, the concerned Area Managers and Vigilance Officers sitting in Headquarters turn a blind eye towards the illegal act, for obvious reasons.