Ranchi, Jan, 2: Illegal mining and its trade in mining areas of Jharkhand costs coal companies of more than Rs 200 crore every year and also gives royalty dent above Rs 35 crore to the State Government.
The impact of illegal mining is not only causing revenue loss for the companies but also influencing the socio economic balance in the state because most of the criminal activity including Naxalite movement is funded by such illegal trade.
A major section of jobless people in the mining areas of Jharkhand do not have any choice but to support the illegal trade. They often risk their lives to enter into dangerous mines to earn some bucks to feed their families.
Central Coalfields Limited (CCL),Bharat Coking Coal Limited (BCCL) and Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL)operates all the major districts of Jharkhand, including Ranchi, Hazaribagh, Ramgadh, Giridih, Koderma, Chatra, Dhanbad, Bokaro, Dumka and Deoghar.
The mining are done from closed mines that found dangerous by the coal companies via poor people who works as coalminer for few bucks many times several illegal miners dies due to accident in such mines but it remains unreported. After the mining it transferred to the safe dumping ground from where it loaded on trucks and getting its way illegally to Banaras in Uttar Pradesh .
Every day hundreds of trucks loaded with illegal coal moves through grand trunk road under administration cover.Another way of illegal trade is done with the help of Coal Company, here coal trader’s takes subsidized coal on the dedicated quota of the closed factory or the factory which is only on the paper and sells them on the market price and getting supernormal profits.
Illegal coal trades are also flourishing around Railway stations and coal yards where transportation activity takes place. Company officials and security personnel at railway stations often have association with illegal coal smugglers, and are equally to blame for the pilferage.As coal mining as done at Naxalites affected area and these traders have close association with the Naxalites and they gives hefty levy to them which is the provide source of money for them .These moneys are used by them to buy arms and ammunitions. Recently the home ministry report has also highlighted such window of funding for Naxalite groups.
This is well structured trade flourishing from decades with the help of People -Police -Politician Nexus in the state.According to a report Coal India Limited (CIL), says that about 1.37 million tons of coal is pilfered every year. The coal mafia bosses runs parallel economy and deprive the state exchequer of royalty worth crores and at the same time funding the Naxalites.Government has failed to create the employment opportunity in the state so local youths are forced to work for the illegal traders.
Creation of employment opportunities could help curb the menace to a large extent but it looks like a distant dream for the poor tribal people of Jharkhand.