By Our Correspondent
JODA/KOIRA/BHUBANESWAR: With both Union and State Governments are working hard to streamline the mining sector but things seems to have no impact on Odisha with rampant illegal transportation of minerals are going on in State’s two mineral bearing districts of Keonjhar and Sundargarh.
Sources said, every day, without having National permit, thousands of trucks transport iron ores from here to West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The Transport Department officials seems turning a blind eye on it.
“Every day ,hundreds of trucks, trailers, Haiwas, regularly carry iron ores to various ports, plants in West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. For Inter-state mineral transportation, existing laws mandate national permit. But, many transporters have been carrying it out without this permit,” an activist in Joda in Keonjhar said.
Recently, police and RTO officials caught 25 tracks in Joda area and five trucks in Jhumpura area as they were transporting minerals to West Bengal without national permit. They had been fined Rs 45,000. Later, some middlemen struck a deal with the officials and managed to set free the trucks.
Asked about it, RTO Nirmal Mohanty said checking of mineral transportation will be conducted and fine will be imposed on the violators.He added that loading of mineral is being done under the Integrated Mines and Mineral Management System (i3MS) and there is no loading without permits. The matter will be looked into, he noted.
On the other hand, DDM Joda Mining Circle in Keonjhar LD Nayak, said if the registration numbers of trucks are not registered under i3Ms, those vehicles cannot transport minerals. He also added that based on the nature of permits, mineral transportation within and outside the state is determined.
As per information of the transport department, a truck owner seeking national permit have to pay Rs 24,000 per annum. The validity of base permit for mineral transportation within the state is five years while it is one year for national permit.
In most cases, transporters carry out mineral transportation on transit permits and ‘counter-sign permits’.Various quarters sought to know on which permit basis, mineral transportation to other states is being carried out. They demanded a proper investigation into it.
Transport officials used to check mineral transportation properly, but there has been virtually no vehicle checking these days. With lowering of guard, some transporters take advantage of this situation. The government is incurring loss of huge revenue due to illegal mineral transportation.
Notably, under i3Ms, the mines department usually issues permits to transporters for mineral transport.But, now truck owners manage to get loading slips and get the mineral loading.
Some truck owners pointed out that once the registration numbers of trucks are registered under i3Ms, they have to deposit some money to get permits for loading. There is no need for ensuring national permits, they said.