The Indore district mining officer has slapped fines of Rs 50,000 each on truck owners for failing to submit the mandatory quarterly details of minerals transported by them over a period of three years.
The notices are being sent to more than 3,000 trucks transporting minerals in the Indore district, and around 100 notices have been sent out in the last two days. The owners have been given a fortnight’s time to submit their reply.
District mining officer Pradeep Khanna, who issued the notices, said he suspected the truck owners and mine owners were colluding to evade paying royalty to the government. “It may run into lakhs (of rupees) over the course of the last three years,” Khanna said.
In 2012, the mining department had passed an order directing all mineral transport trucks to register with ‘e-Khanij’, a mining department portal, and more than 3,000 trucks had registered themselves.
According to the directive, the owners of the trucks were supposed to provide quarterly statements with details about the mine from which they had loaded the minerals and the person to whom they sold them to.
The aim of the initiative was to conduct sample checks to monitor if the truck owners or mine owners were fudging accounts.
However, in the past three years, none of the truck owners have filed the requisite statements with the department despite repeated attempts.
The mining officer said, “In the past, some attempts had been made by the department to seek details from the truck owners, but it was not followed up.”