By Our Business Affairs Bureau
JODA/BARBIL/BHUBANESWAR: Reddy Brothers—Robin Hood ! No! He is Tamil Mines mafia B Prabhakaran! Why B Prabhakaran, man from Salem, Tamil Nadu, so powerful that , Big steel makers making beeline to Thriveni Earth Movers Pvt Ltd, a firm owns no mines in the Odisha, but has his hand in many in Joda-Barbil-Koira circle of Keonjhar and Sundargarh.
The www.indianewsdiary.com, which has been giving extensive coverage to Odisha mining scam, carried several news on illigal mining business of Thriveni Earth Movers Pvt Ltd and also wanted to have reaction of Company CMD B Prabhakaran, but failed. No reaction from Prabhakaran yet while his company staffs are not responding calls on mobile and land phones. When you call to Thriveni Earth Movers Pvt Ltd’s Joda Central Office in Keonjhar, response is CMD is out of station and out of office.
Even big companies like POSCO and Jindal Steel and Power Ltd knocking doors of B Prabhakaran, allegedly looted Rs 10,000 crore through illigal mining in these two districts of Odisha in past 10 years.
Surprisingly, despite cases by State Vigilance, Director of Mines, Justice MB Shah Commission, Prabhakaran, an ardent devotee of Maa Kamakhyadevi of Assam, continiued to rule in Joda, Barbil and Koira, the 3 mining circles of Odisha that accounted for a third of India’s iron ore production. In both the Shah Commission’s report on illegal mining, as well as in the report of the Supreme Court’s Centrally Empowered Committee, Thriveni Earthmovers finds many mentions. The Enforcement Directorate had raided his mining and transportation firm as part of its investigation in the multi-hundred crore illegal mining scam.
People involved in mining business , termed Prabhakaran as ‘Reddy Brothers of Barbil’, the reference being to G Janardhan Reddy, the main accused in illegal mining in Karnataka.
Prabhakaran with influential patrons like some young BJD Ministers in Bhubaneswar, senior officers of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Office(CMO), runs a company that was valued at Rs 1,250 crore when private equity firm Samara Capital bought 12% in it in 2010.
Thriveni Earthmovers, is the largest raising contractor in the 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.Thriveni’s subsidiary controls a coal mine in Indonesia. Prabhakaran is also said to have large land-holdings in Tamil Nadu. Said an iron ore transporter in Barbil, one of the mining hotspots in Keonjhar: He had nothing 10 years ago. Now, forget Rs 2,000 crore, he has Rs 10,000 crore, added a local in Joda. By 1999, Thriveni was close to Rs 100 crore in turnover. Thriveni Earthmovers’ turnover nearly doubled in two years – from Rs 760 crore in 2012 to Rs 1,336 crore in 2014.
Prabhakaran makes mine owners transfer control to him illegally, he won over powerful local leaders like Champua Independent MLA Sanatan Mahakud and brothers Bheema and Kusha Apat . With declared assets worth Rs 51 crore and his wife’s Shantilata’s as Rs 18 crore, Sanatan Mahakud was one of the richest candidates in 2014 assembly polls.From a small-time muscleman, Mahakud came to wield huge power in the area as he served mining contractor B Prabhakaran.
When he started out, in 1993, Prabhakaran had one excavator and two tippers. By the time he got to Odisha in 2001, he had been a contractor on large projects for Hindustan Copper, India Cements and L&T. He won his first contract in the state from the OMC, but it never took off. Soon after, he convinced a mine owner, RP Sao, to try him out.
In September 2011, Odisha had issued showcause notices to the owners of three of those mines — Indrani Patnaik, KJS Ahluwalia and RP Sao — for violating Rule 37 of Mineral Concession Rules.
DR Patnaik, the husband of Indrani Patnaik, and Prashant Ahluwalia, CEO of KJS Ahluwalia mines largely depends on Prabhakaran. The department pegged the illegal mining . The case is currently pending trial.
Mohan Charan Majhi, a BJP leader and former MLA from Keonjhar, said he had several times raised these concerns in the assembly. Biswajit Mohanty, secretary of the Wildlife Society of Odisha: “ What can more I tell about B Prabhakaran, mining laws were violated, permissions ignored, forest laws broken… name the law and I’ll give you instances of its violations.”
It was the year 2000. B Prabhakaran was in deep trouble.A project for which the young equipment contractor’s trucks and earthmovers were employed had been denied an extension. Another project – a dam on Arunachal Pradesh’s Subansiri river – where he could have redeployed his machines and employees had been bagged by a rival company.
The Shah Commission had said 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 4 people who controlled the Naveen Patnaik led BJD Government in Odisha, added a former Minister.
Prabhakaran has good political connection with AIADMK and DMK in his home State of Tamil Nadu. Using DMK leader TR Baalu, the former Union Environment Minister, his son and A Raja, who succeeded him at the Environment Ministry, Prabhakaran did many illigal thing.
In 2011, two Congress MLAs, Nihar Ranjan Mahananda and Jogesh Kumar Singh, wrote a letter to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik alleging a mining mafia led by Sanatana Mahakud… has taken control of more than 10 mines in Joda mining circle in collusion with raising contractor Triveni Earth Movers.
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, alleged a mine onwer in Barbil.
The Shah Commission’s report had alleged that companies like TEMPL have deepened corruption among government employees, ranging from those granting clearances for mining to environmental management to transport.