By Our Correspondent
JODA/BARBIL/BHUBANESWAR: With lease term expiring by 31 March 2010, tainted mine owners in Odisha continued their illegal mining business in Odisha’s mineral rich Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts. With RP Sao and TP Sao owns mining leading from the front, violating all norms of Forest and Environment and Mines and Minerals Act. RP Sao and TP Sao was a key player in Odisha mining scam worth Rs 80,000 crore.
Local residents in Joda, Barbil, Koira and Bonai regions alleged that with help of some corrupted officials in Steel and Mines Department and local political leaders, RP Sao and TP Sao continued their illegal mining work without any fear.
Supreme Court empowered CEC has also fined RP Sao and TP Sao mines for illegal mining while several cases have been pending against the Mines firm in Odisha State Vigilance Department.
‘A CBI raids at Mines located in Joda-Barbil-Koira range in Keonjhar-Sundargarh, offices at Chaibasa in Jharkhand and Kolkata in West Bengal and plant at Jharsuguda in western Odisha would unearth many more scandals of RP Sao and TP Sao mines,” added an activists in Joda. RP Sao and TP Sao mines also a key accused in Uliburu, Hisaburu mines scam linked to Deepak Steel and Power Ltd’s Deepak Gupta.
With plea of “consent to operate’, RP Sao and TP Sao mines continued their illegal mining in broad day light. Forest and Environment laws have been violated at Company’s Jharsuguda plant while local Odias not getting proper recruitment in the plant.
Deepak Gupta cooling his heels in Jail while Sao Brothers running freely, added another activists known to Uliburu mining scam.
Few months back, thousands of villagers, including women, of Roidapada and Guali panchayats in Joda block had staged a dharna protesting against the anti-people activities of RP Sao Mines.They said after the RP Sao Mines began operation, it has completely neglected the locals.
Besides, they said the local transporting licence holders were ignored, improper mining done for which iron ore fines lie scattered creating environmental hazard besides making paddy land unfit for cultivation etc.
“We would write to CBI, ED and Odisha Steel and Mines Minister to look into the matter, added Rajesh Kumar Murmu,” a local residents.
The Central Empowered Committee of the Apex Court in its interim report had said mining activities were going on in a large number of mines in RP Sao and TP Sao Mines in Odisha without requisite forest and environmental clearance.