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Saryu Roy highlights more anomalies in auction of iron ore mines, stocks

Jamshedpur (East) MLA Saryu Roy has tweeted to chief minister (CM) Hemant Soren, demanding stalling of auction of “illegally mined” iron ore stock from Ajitaburu mine leased to a firm in West Singhbhum district
By Debashish Sarkar, Jamshedpur
PUBLISHED ON JUN 18, 2021 10:03 PM IST

Jamshedpur (East) MLA Saryu Roy has tweeted to chief minister (CM) Hemant Soren, demanding stalling of auction of “illegally mined” iron ore stock from Ajitaburu mine leased to a firm in West Singhbhum district.

“The state mining department has done unpardonable offence by coming out with auction notice for 17 lakh tonnes of iron ore without inspecting and assessing 12 hectares of mining area out of 46 hectares leased to M/S Debuka Bhai Belji. Technical and administrative officials in the mining department are idiots or shrewd! Stop them and save the state from huge revenue loss,” Roy said while tagging CM Soren in a tweet on Thursday.

The state mining department came out with a tender for Ajitaburu iron and manganese block on June 14, with July 13 being the last date for submission and July 14 as the tender opening date.

The state mining department has estimated that this mine, spread over 46.62 hectares, has 17.538 million tonnes of iron ore and 2.318 million tonnes of manganese reserve. The lease of M/S Debuka Bhai Belji expired on March 31, 2020 after the state government cancelled mining lease of over three dozen mines.

Only the mines belonging to Tata Steel and Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) have currently been operational, while the lease of one M/S Anil Khirwal was still in effect.

Jharkhand has about 20,000 crore revenue dues pending on 187 iron ore, manganese and coal mining companies.

Roy, in another tweet, questioned the legality of the decision by the West Singhbhum district mining officer (DMO). “How did the DMO give permission to transport iron ore from a closed mine to Vishakhapatnam by rail route to M/S Global Traders and M/S Animesh Ispat,” Roy asked.

Tender notice for stock auction of Thakurani and Rajabera mines leased to M/S Padma Kumar Jain has already triggered controversy over difference grading percentage of the illegally mined iron ore and fines stocked.

The state government in 2017 cancelled leases of the two aforementioned mines in wake of the amended Mines and Minerals (development and regulations) Act, 2015 (MMDR Act) and a Supreme Court (SC) order in this regard. The government raised a fine of 334 crore on Thakurani Mine and 7 crore on Rajabera mine on charges of illegal mining, which is now to be realised by auctioning the stocked iron ore and fines.

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