Ranchi, March 17: The BJP legislators today cornered the state government on the issue of illegal stone mining in the state and demanded constitution of an assembly committee to probe the matter.
BJP’s chief whip Biranchi Naryan raised the issue during the question hour pointing out seriousness of the illegal mining in the state. He said the illegal stone mining is not a matter of scam of Rs 2000 crore but a case of misuse of illegally procured explosives.
“This is not corruption only but connivance of the government with those involved in the supply of illegal explosives like extremists. The matter is not only associated with loss of revenue but also with security of over 3 crore people of Jharkhand,” he said and added that the matter required a probe by the NIA.
Minister Badal Patralekh defended the state government in the house saying Hemant Soren-led government in the state has collected Rs 30,949 crore as revenue from mining in three financial years (2019-20 to 2022-23) while Raghubar Das-led state government in three financial years (2016-17 to 2018-19) had earned only Rs 15,784 crore. He said the number of inspections and FIRs has also doubled during the Hemant rule. As far as misuse of explosives is concerned, he said the matter is related to the union government.
However, the BJP legislators were not satisfied with the reply and mentioned recovery of crores earned by illegal mining during the ED raids and involvement of chief minister’s MLA representative Pankaj Mishra in the mining scam. Bhanu Pratap Shahi said that many mountains have disappeared in Sahibganj and Palamu. He demanded an assembly committee to probe the matter. Hazaribagh MLA Manish Jaiswal demanded an aerial survey to have first-hand information regarding illegal mining.
On which minister Badal Patralekh retorted saying “Hemant Hai to Himmat Hai” and mentioned how chief minister Soren wrote a letter to the railway minister pointing out involvement of railway officials in illegal transportation of coal. On which, BJP legislator Narayan said mining is a state subject and it a matter of concern that minerals excavated from the state were transported without challan and no action was taken against the mining officers involved in the act.
Independent MLA Saryu Roy supported the BJP legislators. He referred to a National Green Tribunal order given on March 15 this year in which the tribunal having status of Supreme Court has expressed its concern over damage to the environment due to illegal mining. As the BJP legislators came to know about this, they raised the slogan of “shame shame”.