Today's Paper

CAG report unearths rampant illegal mining in Rajasthan

About 98.87 lakh tonnes of minerals worth Rs. 204.5 crore were illegally excavated in five districts of Rajasthan between 2011-12 and 2016-17. The mining not only violated rules and regulations but also flouted the Supreme Court's direction to stop degradation of environment in the State’s Aravalli hills.

In its report on the economic sector for the financial year ended March 31, 2017, tabled in the Rajasthan Assembly on Tuesday, the Comptroller and Auditor General has pulled up the State government for the illegal mining, while pointing out that the Mines Department could recover only Rs. 25.57 crore against the total recoverable amount of Rs. 204.50 crore.

There were inadequacies in preventive measures as well as in the follow-up of the illegal mining cases detected, while the delay in issuing notices for recovery of penal amount removed the scope for deterrence, said the CAG. Besides, the policy measures framed in 2011 for curbing illegal mining were not implemented.

Serious violations

“We noticed serious violations of the Supreme Court’s orders, as mining leases falling in the Aravalli mountain range were granted, renewed and extended. Besides, the Ministry of Environment and Forests also granted environment clearance for mining lease despite the area falling in Aravalli hills,” said the CAG report.

The districts where illegal mining took place during the five years are Alwar, Jaipur, Sikar, Rajsamand and Udaipur, according to the report. The CAG said though nine mining engineers’ offices in these districts had registered 4,072 cases of illegal mining, transportation and storage of minerals, they could make negligible recovery.

Recommended for you