Odisha-Jharkhand to meet to curb illegal mining

Bhubaneswar: Perturbed over illegal transportation of minerals through forest and other routes, Odisha and Jharkhand are planning to impose restriction on plying of heavy vehicles in border areas and mapping of such routes indicating places where low height barricades need to be erected or trenches dug.

Efforts to curb illegal mining would be discussed at the second inter-state coordination committee meeting later to be held on August 21 at Keonjhar.

Senior officials of Odisha and Jharkhand would attend the meeting, a senior official said adding first such meeting was held on February 2.

While both states would exchange smuggling status on either sides of the border, the meeting would take a decision on mapping of forest routes generally used by mafia for illegal transportation of minerals, the police said.

"Heavy vehicle should be allowed to ply only on routes recommended by transport departments of two states," sources said adding joint unified check gates were to be made operational at Murgabeda, Nalda (Keonjhar district), Tiring (Mayurbhanj district) and Jareikela (West Singbhum district).

This apart, installation of another joint unified check gate at Bairammitrapur at NH-3 may also be considered. Officials of mining, forest, commercial tax and trasnport departments of both the states would man the check gates.

The Sunday meeting would also take a decision on a proposal to shift the existing forest check gate at Bisra (Sundergarh district) to Jareikela (W Singhbhum distr).

Meanwhile, the collector of Sundergarh district has suggested erection of check gates at Taparia and Telijore for better action to curb illegal transportation of minerals.

Odisha government which had already prohibited storage (depot) of mineral for trading within a radius of 40 km from the source (mines), would also request imposition of similar restriction by Jharkhand government, they said.

This apart, both the state would take a decision on imposing restriction on setting up crusher units within 10 km radius of either side of the inter-state border in order to curb clandestine mining activities in bordering areas.

The meeting is likely to discuss other issues like sharing of information, regulation of mineral traffic to ports through roads, measures to intensify joint enforcement activities and setting up of a special cell for monitoring of illegal activities in border areas.