Hitting out at the Naveen Patnaik government for "failing" to prevent illegal mining in Orissa, the BJP on Monday said even though the state produced iron ore valued at about Rs 84,000 crore since 2000, it earned a paltry Rs 743 crore from it.
The state government has failed to take action to prevent illegal mining and book those involved. Mine mafias continued to flourish in the state, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra told a press conference in Bhubaneswar.
"Illegal mining has been going on in Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts for the last one decade, for which the chief minister owes an explanation," he said.
About 420 tonne of iron ore at an average estimated cost of Rs 84,000 crore were produced in Orissa since 2000, but ironically the state's income from it was only Rs 743 crore, the BJP leader said.
Terming the ongoing vigilance probe into the mining scam in Keonjhar as an eyewash, Mohapatra said the corruption could not have taken place without the knowledge of forest and police officials.
On the government's decision of forming a task force to monitor mining activities, he said this was not new. A similar force was formed in September 2005, but it was of no use.
Mohapatra alleged 112 people from outside the state were granted trading licenses though they had no factory in Orissa.