NEW DELHI: Concerned over the reports of widespread theft and illegal mining activity at Coal India Ltd assets, the Centre on Friday asked the state governments to take necessary deterrent action to curb theft and illegal mining.
The Union Coal Ministry said that the coal companies have initiated a number of measures on their part, including wall fencing, lighting arrangements and deployment of armed guards for 24x7 surveillance of the coal dumping yards.
“Law and order is a state subject, hence states and district administration are requested to take necessary deterrent action to curb theft or black marketing. But on their part, coal companies have also taken the following measures to prevent theft of coal,” the ministry said in an official release. Eastern Coalfields Ltd in Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal have reported many such incidents of theft and illegal mining, the statement added. Recently, Eastern Coalfields said that illegal mining and increased mafia operations have brought production to a standstill in many of its mines, causing a loss of about Rs 30 crore a month.
Regular FIRs are lodged by the management of the collieries and CISF with local police stations against the theft of coal.