Nagpur: Nagpur has been known as the ‘Orange city’ due to the Nagpuri Santra. We have proudly boasted that we also have both white gold, i.e. cotton and black gold, coal. Not without justification since a quintal of cotton at one time fetched exactly the same as a gram of gold. Coal was a national wealth that would get us Electricity and power that would help run our blossoming industries. Most of our nation’s industrialization came after we gained independence and coal was one of the most important fuels to fuel that growth.
Such was the spirit of development and the exhilaration of creation that our first P.M. Jawaharlal Nehru used to exhort us that “it was not Kashi or Rameshwar, the modern Gods of India were to be worshiped at our dams like Bhakra Nangal, our power plants and our mega factories”.
We, in Nagpur and Central India were proud that we sat on vast resources of coal.
But since the last 2- 3 years is that very coal turning our ‘Orange city’ into a ‘black city’ tainted by coal scams and its alleged recipients?
So many of our important local leaders – of industry, politics and news barons whom we were so proud of were suddenly named in the multi billion dollar coal scam that was ‘unearthed’ by our own CAG. Our honourable Rajya Sabha M.P. Vijay Darda and his brother Rajendra; one of our most respected industrialists Govind Daga, our most successful post 90s businessman Manoj Jaiswal and his family’s NECO group, the Guptas of Gupta House, the Sanchetis ( one of who is an MP now) and now Sunil Hitech which has had such an impressive growth curve all became ‘scam affected’.
These are actually small fish when you see that for the first time ever our ex PM who has been one of the most respected world leaders of this era, an illustrious and erudite academician, is a ‘suspect’ in the eyes of the CBI.
Things are coming to a head as march month, all the CBI inquiries, now being over seen by our Supreme Court are resulting in a spate of CBI raids.
City businessman Padmesh Gupta has been booked by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for fraud and criminal conspiracy in a case related to alleged swindling of coal.M/s Gupta Global Resources Private Limited, a company promoted by him is engaged in coal washing business and had bagged an order from Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL), a state PSU based in Bangalore. It is alleged that the company carried out coal washing operations in violation of guidelines issued by ministry of coal regarding ‘rejected coal’. The rejects were also sold without the ministry’s permission.The CBI says this is the 39th FIR registered by it in the coal scam monitored by the Supreme Court.
N T news – ‘in a surprise move CBI moved in to raid Gupta Coal House at the Gupta House on Temple road. The raids began on March 19th and they were supposed to be inspecting irregularities in their books.
March 31st Raids on Sunil Hitech
But we cannot help wondering where this is going to end for our city which is already suffering from years of neglect and was just beginning to wake up to a Better Future.
The cancellation of the coal blocks, the stalled power projects, the industries that are not getting power at the rates they thought they would are all leading to a dominoes effect.
Employment is not growing at the rate at which it could have. Banks, even large PSU Banks are suffering from ‘collateral damage’ – all the stalled projects have led to non performing assets and blocked funds of multiple crores.
Whether it is State Bank of India, or a co operative bank or a private bank, they all have crushing NPAs.
With the situation of the lenders so precarious, where are funds for new projects going to come from?
Capital has dried up so thoroughly that rural India is also feeling the heat. Farmers are commiting suicide.
There are no funds to finish work on dams under construction.
One just wishes that the Courts and the CBI do their duty but also keep an eye on the reactions to their actions.
It is time they stopped operating in a vaccum.
Nagpur does not wish to be BLACK CITY. That was not the plan at all.
… Sunita Mudliyar