In first of its kind, the law has been used to seize commercial vehicles that are indulging in illegal mining. It does not end there, the vehicles seized were declared as the government asset.
Devendra Singh Patil, the assistant conservator of forests, seized all the vehicles that were transporting illegally mined materials. He enforced Section 52 of the amended Rajasthan Forest Act 1953 to enable the seizure of vehicles. The seized vehicles included 8 tractors and 2 earth movers. The forest in Rajasthan are notorious for illegal mining, an RTI application ensured the court banned mining in the area. The forest land at Brahmanon ka Tanka under the Beriganga forest division has always faced the wrath of illegal mining and to prevent this practice, deep trenches were prepared to ensure big vehicles cannot pass through besides forest guards were also put in place.
What is the status of Illegal Mining in India?
1. In Odisha alone illegal mining has cost 17,000 Cr over 10 years.
2. A government constituted commission (Justice (retired) MS Shah Commission) to investigate illegal mining found there were rampant illegal minings in Goa and Karnataka.
3. 43% of iron ore being exported from Goa was illegal according to the report of the Public Accounts Committee of Goa Assembly.
4. Half of the ore exported from Karnataka is reported to be illegal.
5. Over 3.29 lakh cases of illegal mining were reported between 2006 and 2011 from different states.
6. We often hear of RTI activists being killed for unearthing the illegal mining.
7. There is an ostensible nexus between politicians and the illegal mining mafia both in the Congress (YSR’s father was involved in mining) and BJP (Reddy brothers).
The Logical Indian requests the government to break the nexus between politicians and illegal miners and ensure the benefits of exported resources reach the people.