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Opposition attacks Jharkhand govt over illegal sand mining

Ranchi, Mar 8 (PTI) The opposition criticised the JMM-led government in Jharkhand in the assembly on Tuesday for allegedly allowing illegal sand mining, saying it was causing a huge loss to the state exchequer.

Irfan Ansari, an MLA of the Congress, an ally of the ruling dispensation, also hit out at the police accusing it of minting money from sand truckers in his Jamtara constituency.

While BJP MLA Biranchi Narayan alleged that illegal sand mining was rampant in the state, some other lawmakers demanded setting up a House committee to probe the matter.

Pointing out that there are 608 sand ghats in the state, AJSU party chief and Silli MLA Sudesh Mahto said “Of the total, 22 sand ghats are operated by the corporation (Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation). I would like to ask the government as to who has been operating the remaining 586 sand ghats for the past two years.” The AJSU party chief said that in the absence of legal operation of the sand ghats, huge revenue loss was being incurred by the public exchequer.

“In 2019-20, as many as 888 sand vehicles were seized and a sum of Rs 409 lakh was realised. In 2020-21, 1,082 vehicles were seized and Rs 248 lakh was realised. A total of 1,325 vehicles were seized in 2021-22 and Rs 268 lakh was realised,” Mahto said.

Taking the issue forward, BJP legislator Biranchi Narayan said illegal sand mining is rampant in the state.

“The state government had assured that sand trucks used for transporting construction materials within the state would not be seized by the police. But over 10,000 sand trucks are rotting in police stations,” he said.

BJP legislative party leader Babulal Marandi demanded that until the government can find any solution to un-auctioned sand ghats, sand trucks should not be stopped by the police for carrying construction materials within the state.

Independent MLA Saryu Roy, NCP legislator Kamlesh Kumar Singh, and BJP legislator Bhanu Pratap Sahi termed it a serious issue and sought immediate intervention from the government.

Replying to the issue, Jharkhand Minister Badal Patralekh said, “The selection of MDOs (mine developer and operators) is under process for 586 sand ghats, which will be completed within 15 days. Till now, no one is operating them legally.” Badal assured the House that he would write a letter to the police department directing all police stations not to harass vehicles involved in sand transportation and action will be taken if such incidents are reported.

Later, Congress’ Barkagaon legislator Amba Prasad raised the issue of alleged police lathi-charge on agitators, who have been staging dharna against National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for 13 months at Tandwa in Jharkhand’s Chatra district.

The protestors are demanding payment of compensation for crop damage due to coal pollution in the area, suitable action for checking environmental pollution, and employment opportunities for the local people.

Parliamentary Affairs minister Alamgir Alam gave an assurance that action will be taken within 24 hours. PTI SAN NAM MM MM

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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