Baghel government to review mining in Bailadila
Chief minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday said the Chhattisgarh government will review allocation of iron ore mining in Dantewada district’s Bailadila area by the previous BJP government a day after locals began protests claiming that the hill, where the mining is supposed to take place, was their deity.
“Some people have questioned the tender allocation process undertaken by the previous (BJP) government and secondly, the tribals of Dantewada are protesting against the mining operations on hills. Therefore, we have decided to review the tender allocation process,” said Baghel.
The 10 million tonne per annum (MTPA) capacity Bailadila Iron Ore Deposit-13 at Kirandul is being developed by NCL, joint venture of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) and the Chhattisgarh Mineral Development Corporation Ltd (CMDC Ltd), and has been allocated to Adani Enterprises for mining.
Tribals from some 200 villages of Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur districts, under the aegis of the Sanyukt Panchayat Samiti, began the protest in front of NMDC’s Kirandul facility, demanding that the Central Public Sector Undertaking (PSE) abandons its plan to mine the hill.
NCL chief operating officer, VS Prabhakar, said: “Chhattisgarh government has got all right to review the tender process which was done as per due process and law. They can review any portion of it.”
An IAS officer of the state government, on condition of anonymity, said: “This is reason for the present government for reanalysing the deal and reconsidering it. What makes the matter even more suspicious for the Bhagel government is that apart from signing the deal in a hurry just before election results, the footprints of a very influential bureaucrat, who used to work for former chief minister (Raman Singh) is all over this deal.”
Adani Enterprises refused to comment on the CM’s statement and reiterated its Friday statement. In a statement, Adani Enterprises and NMDC had said that the NMDC Limited and the CMDC Ltd formed a joint venture in the 2008.