Mafia transports mineral with ‘proxy licences’

Joda: With the prospects of the reopening of closed mines brightening, unrest is brewing in mining areas under Joda mining circle in Keonjhar district, a report said.

Various groups have been staging dharnas outside Essel Mining and Industries Ltd over issues of jobs, contracts in mineral transport and loading amid reports that the mafia has been engaged in mineral transport in some operational mines with proxy licences.

Narayani Sons Pvt Ltd has bagged the contract of mineral extraction and transport in this mining firm. Significantly, this contract has triggered conflicts among the groups sitting on dharna after Narayani Sons Pvt Ltd sublet the work of mineral transport to another company, reliable sources said. The agency which has taken work from Narayani Sons Pvt Ltd is allegedly using a licence of another company.  The agency was allegedly tainted in mining irregularities earlier.  

Besides, the mafia has got licence of mineral transport issued in the names of their kin from the mines department.    

After learning this, discontent is brewing among the locals who have been sitting in dharna.

SP Rajesh Pandit said he was well aware of the allegations and the matter will be investigated.

It was learnt that the mafia got the proxy licences by greasing the palms of some unscrupulous mines officials in the department. Apart from cash, the mafia gifted two-wheelers to the officials to get the licences, the sources said. 

Veteran labour leader Maheswar Rout said the police should look into the issue of proxy licences and arrest members of the mafia.

“The mines department should issue licences after verifying the antecedents of the license aspirants. The mafia is taking advantage of the lack of coordination between the police and the officials of the mines department,” Rout observed. 

He also said Essel Mining and Industries Ltd should not overlook the job opportunities for the educated and unemployed youths of the locality.

There was near confrontation between supporters of Champua MLA Sanatan Mahakud and activists of Jurudi Development Committee, a local outfit, at Essel mine in Jurudi Saturday when the former took out a rally. Police rushed with forces to the spot and prevented an untoward incident.

More unrest is likely in the mining areas with path being cleared for reopening of closed mines in Joda circle while agitations are being staged by different groups over jobs for locals and stiff lobbying by powerful local people to bag contracts for mineral extraction and transport.

Some scam-tainted mines are mostly likely to reopen after they deposit their penalty with the state government in accordance with a Supreme Court order.  PNN

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