Jharkhand: SIT to investigate role of railway officials in illegal transportation of minerals
Despite communication by the state government officials with the railways, several incidents of transpiration of mineral resources without ‘challan’ have come to the light.
Published: 02nd March 2023 10:56 AM | Last Updated: 02nd March 2023 10:56 AM | A+A A-
RANCHI: Amid Enforcement Directorate’s crackdown over illegal mining in Jharkhand, CM Hemant Soren has constituted one member Special Investigation Team (SIT) with Retired Chief Justice of Jharkhand High Court Vinod Kumar Gupta as Chairman, to investigate and suggest ways to prevent the role of railway officials in illegal transportation of minerals.
Soren on December 14, 2022, alleging involvement of railway officials in transportation of illegal stone and other mining products, had sought his cooperation in checking the same.
The Chief Minister, writing a letter to Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, had also informed that the state government had decided to set up a high-level inquiry committee for the same and expected all cooperation from him in the investigation.
According to an official communiqué from Chief Minister’s Secretariat, it has been decided to fix the tenure of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by Vinod Kumar Gupta (Retired Chief Justice, Jharkhand High Court) as a member to investigate and prevent the role of Railways in illegal transportation of minerals within the state, for six months.
Approval has been given on the proposal to provide honorarium per month to the Chairman of the Commission, travel allowance and other facilities equivalent to the Chief Justice of the High Court and as well as one assistant, one commandant, one computer operator and vehicle facility for the seamless working of the office of the Commission, it said.
“SIT will give suggestions for investigation and prevention of role of railway officials in illegal transportation of minerals,” stated the official communiqué.
Notably, drawing attention towards involvement of railway officials in the transportation of illegal mining in Jharkhand, Soren had stated in his letter that illegal mining is not possible without support of transportation facility. In order to regulate mining activities and check illegal mining in Jharkhand, the
state has already integrated VAAHAN portal with Jharkhand Integrated Mines and Minerals Management System (JIMMS) and proper monitoring of mining transport is being done.
Through JIMMS, online permit and e-challan are issued after online payment and verification of all documents.
But, according to Soren, no support is being provided to the state government in checking illegal transportation of mining products by the Railways. Despite communication by the state government officials with the railways, several incidents of transpiration of mineral resources without ‘challan’ have come to the light.
Furthermore, despite several requests Railways not integrated its software with JIMMS portal for any of the mineral resources barring the iron ore, added Soren.
Interestingly, despite his personal requests to the coal minister, transportation of coal is being done by the railways without integration with JIMMS portal, alleged Soren in his letter.
JIMMS is integrated with VAHAN portal to ensure proper vigilance on transportation of minerals by road but has yet to be integrated with Freight Operations Information System (FIOS) of Railways.
Soren also requested the Railway minister to ensure proper implementation of Jharkhand Mineral (Prevention of Illegal Mining, Transportation and Storage) Rules 2017 in the State and no transportation of mineral resources is allowed without legal ‘challan’. He a had lso requested the railway minister to
integrate JIMMS portal with FIOS system of Railways immediately.