To recover over Rs. 1,200 crore on charges of illegal mining

The district administration has served notices to 11 granite firms and individuals for recovery of over Rs. 1,200 crore on charges of illegal mining under the Mines and Minerals Development Regulation Act.

According to a reliable source, the 11 firms include PRP Granites, which alone accounted for over Rs. 700 crore. Villages such as Keelavalavu, Keelaiyur, Saraguvalaipatti, Tiruvadavur, Thumbaipatti, Sivalingam, and Vellaloor have come under official scanner for various violations. Based on reports from Assistant Director (Mines), t Collector Anshul Mishra has instructed officials for recovery and issued notices under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957.

Explaining, the source said, “Out of the 86 granite firms taken up for evaluation, work have been completed in 64 quarries. We have sent notices to 11 firms and steps are being taken to send such notices for recovery to others also.” Further, the district administration had, in a letter to the State government, recommended suspension of mining licences to 52 granite firms so far and 34 more are pending in this connection.

Huge loss

Extensive investigations reveal that the operators, through illegal mining, had quarried more than the permitted levels causing loss to the tune of Rs. 16,000 crore to the exchequer.

During the checks that went on for over three months since August, the officials unearthed illegally quarried stones from the stock yards of many operators. A senior official said, “In today's market value, the confiscated stones are worth around Rs. 4,000 crore.”

The 11 firms, for whom notices have been sent, would have to cough up over Rs. 1,200 crore as the investigations pointed that they had allegedly stolen stones measuring a little over five lakh cubic metres. The other illegal firms also would receive similar notices shortly, the source said.

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