Nagpur: The Nagpur district is blessed with with mineral resources. It’s a known fact. But what is unknown is that this mineral wealth is being plundered by white-collared mafia ostensibly with the “active” role of babus from concerned department, district administration and police. Politicians “bless” the plundering by their cronies obviously for a bountiful gain. Not to mention, the illegal activity is causing a surge in violence by mining mafia, which has created terror in many areas of the district.
The mineral wealth – coal, dolomite, murum, other minerals — is being plundered in Nagpur’s district’s Chakki-Khapa village and other rich areas. Even though the administration has created mining zones where mineral mining could be done legally and on the basis of transportation royalty, the mineral loot is going on unabated.
A Chakki-Khapa resident and environment activist Vivek Sisodiya has levelled serious allegations against district administration as well as National Highway Authority for permitting a dubious firm named M/s MEP for large scale mining of murram in the hillock just behind Bhonsala Military School knowing fully well that the area does not come under mining zone. The outcome is massive loot of the mineral with the “tacit support” of Mining Department. That the government coffers are taking a hit on royalty count is a different tale. The mined murum was permitted to be used in construction of a ring road but the mineral is being transported to other place and used in other works, Sisodiya claimed. “Even the pits left behind after mining, especially in case of minor minerals like murram and stones, too are causing major problems,” he added.
Dwelling further on other dubious aspect of the murram mining, Sisodiya said the site for excavation was leased by district administration in a well-planned strategy. The hillock behind Bhonsala Military School was being excavated for murram so that the land gets levelled. The levelled land could then be leased to an educational institute as additional space for years.
Sisodiya said that he has, several times, brought this illegal mining to the notice of district administration as well as police department but the authorities chose to turn a blind eye. With no action, unauthorised transportation of minerals is going on unabated without paying the royalty. Around 100 trips of trucks-tippers are being witnessed from morning to evening. The environmentalist said that the district administration’s failure to check this rampant illegal mining would have a disastrous impact on the environment in the long run.
—By Rajeev Ranjan Khushwah