By Our Business Bureau
BHUBANESWAR/JODA/BARBIL: The secrete meeting between Mines mafia B Prabhakaran , who owns Thriveni Earth Movers Pvt Ltd and Jindal Steel and Power Limited CMD and Congress leader Naveen Jindal in Bhubaneswar on July 20 evening raised many eyebrows.
Speculations that, Pravakaran who enjoys good times with 3rd Floor, because of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Private Secretary, V Karikeyan Pandian, both hailing from Tamil Nadu, Jindal, who is facing wrath of BJP led NDA Government as well as BJD , vying on Tamil connection to get clear all files relating to JSPL in Odisha.
Jindal after BJP came to power is facing tough time in getting clearances for his project while in Odisha, Chief Minister Patnaik is not entertaining the JSPL boss, so the steel maker rope in on Prabhakaran, sources said.
How a contractor from Tamil Nadu, aged about 43 years, carved out an enormous mining empire in Odisha. The turnover of the mining contract company owned by B Prabhakaran rose by 1300% in a decade and half. What does it tell us about Odisha?
Thriveni Earthmovers, is the largest raising contractor in Odisha. Its turnover, around Rs 90 crore in 2000, now stands at Rs 1,300 crore – a rise of over 1344% in a decade and half because of Prabhakaran’s illial network. “Prabhakaran had nothing 11 years ago. Now, forget Rs 2,000 crore, he has Rs 10,000 crore,” said a resident of Joda.
Thriveni Earthmovers finds many mentions in both the Shah Commission’s report on illegal mining, as well as in the report of the Supreme Court’s Centrally Empowered Committee.
The Shah Commission had concluded that Prabhakaran’s company was not simply a mining contractor, digging out minerals on behalf of the holder of the mining lease – Thriveni controlled most of those mines by proxy, and by default appropriated a large chunk of the earnings from both legal and illegal mining.
Prabhakaran was one of the four people who controlled the Naveen Patnaik led BJD government in Odisha, once had lambasted former Finance Minister Prafulla Ghadai.
Astonishingly, despite taking such a hefty share of profits, Prabhakaran’s portfolio of mines grew: KJS Ahluwalia signed up in 2005-’06, followed by Indrani Patnaik in 2007-’08 and Serajuddin & Co. As these mines began producing, Thriveni Earthmovers’ turnover nearly doubled in two years from Rs 760 crore in 2012 to Rs 1,336 crore in 2014.
Contractors and politicians also point to Prabhakaran’s control of local politics through his proximity with the local MLA, Sanatan Mahakud. Mahakud started out as a union leader who, according to local businessmen and state politicians, used to extort money by forcing industries to shut down through gheraos (protests) by unemployed villagers.
Prabhakaran creates problems through Sanatan Mahakud so that the mine owners will give him their mines. This is his main policy. By putting Sanatan in front, Prabhakaran is reaping the benefits.