Large irregularities in mineral mining: CAG
The CAG observed that in various districts the excavation of the mineral was done without environment clearance.Updated: Jul 20, 2019 09:27 IST
Even as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has expedited the probe into illegal mining, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has detected large irregularities in mineral mining in the state in 2016-17.
Tabled in the state legislative assembly on Friday, the CAG report states that UP Minor Mineral Concession (UPMMC) Rules, 1963 and UP Minerals (Prevention of Illegal Mining Transportation and Storage) Rules, 2002, stipulate that no person shall transport minerals without a valid transit pass (form MM-II). The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation)- MMDR Act, 1957, stipulates that the price of mineral along with royalty may be recovered for raising minerals without lawful authority.
The state government in its order dated October 15, 2015, directed stringent action against the defaulting contractors. However, during the audit of 15 district mining offices (DMOs), the CAG detected that they have failed to initiate action against the contractors when they failed to submit the MM-11 forms along with the bills. The DMOs did not recover the cost of minerals valued Rs 191 crore and impose a penalty of Rs 2.95 crore.
The CAG observed that in various districts the excavation of the mineral was done without environment clearance. The audit test checked the records of two DMOs as samples and detected that lessees had excavated 4.31 lakh cubic meters mineral between January 2016 and March 2017 without obtaining environment clearance and paid Rs 6.75 crore royalty. The excavation of minerals without environment clearance was not only illegal but could also affect the environment adversely. The concerned DMOs neither took any action to stop the business nor recovered cost of mineral amounting to Rs 33.75 crore. Further a fine of Rs 1 lakh was not slapped on the lessees for violation of environment rules.
The CAG further found that several brick kilns were excavating brick earth without an environment clearance. The CAG test checked the records of six DMOs during 2016-17. It was found that 1,131 brick kilns operated during 2014-15 to 2015-16 without obtaining an environment clearance and paid a royalty of Rs 12.45 crore. The DMOs did not take action to stop the business nor recovered Rs 62.27 crore penalty. The CAG detected excavation was done without a mining plan.
First Published: Jul 20, 2019 09:27 IST