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IBM detects illegal mining of minerals

Nagpur: Minerals worth Rs 226.04 crores were illegally mined in various states across the country during the previous fiscal, according to findings of the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), which monitors and prevents such unlawful activities.

In 2010-11 fiscal year, 14,204 cases of illegal mining over an extent of 43.584 lakh tonnes valued at Rs 71.52 crores (in case of major minerals) was detected. In 775 cases, FIRs were lodged with authorities and legal proceedings have been launched in 514 cases.

Also, fine to the tune of Rs 122.33-crore was realised from the defaulters, official sources said today.

Similarly in case of minor minerals, 77,431 cases of illegal mining were reported over an extent of 34.427 lakh tonnes worth Rs 154.52 crores in various states. About 766 cases (FIR) were lodged with police and court proceedings initiated in 9,078 cases. Here too, penalty to the tune of Rs 143.94 crore has been recovered from defaulters, they said.

The Centre through IBM constituted a task force and conducted inspection of mines in endemic areas by taking the help of satellite imageries. The inspection were mandatory in the wake of compliance of Mineral Conservation and Development Rules, 1988.

IBM Controller General, C S Gundewar told PTI that inspections were conducted between December 2009 and March 2011 in Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odissa.

He said about 434 mines comprising minerals like Iron, Ore, Manganese Ore, Dolomite, Limestone, Bauxite were inspected by the task force.

Following this, IBM suspended mining operations in 150 mines and recommended suspension of mining leases in nine cases to respective state governments.

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