Jharkhand former CM wants inquiry against Panem Coal Mines

Last Updated: Wed, Dec 05, 2012 03:53 hrs

Former Jharkhand chief minister and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) Supremo Babulal Marandi who along with the Congress started indefinite dharna and economic blockade in Pakur district for the last 17 days now knocked the door of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to set up a high-level inquiry into joint ventures formed by public sector Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and EMTA Group of Companies.

The letter written recently by the JVM supremo Babulal Marandi to Prime Minister said that the Panem Coal Mines Limited had indulged in “gross irregularities” leading to huge losses to the state exchequer.

The former chief minister who hails from tribal in his letter said,” not only is the company involved in exploitation of natural resources illegally, it is also doing injustice to the tribal people of the area and is grossly violating environmental norms.”.

The former chief minister claimed that Panem Coal Mines Limited extracting coal in excess from its allotted coal mine in Pakur district of Jharkhand. He termed the action of the company as “theft” that was continuing for the last six years.

The JVM which initiated the agitation followed by economic blockade against Panem Coal Mines Limited had already submitted some documents pertaining to evasion of tax and royalty to the commercial taxes and mines and geology departments for a probe. Senior officials from these departments have already gone to the spot for a detailed inquiry.

In a related development on Tuesday, the state Assembly witnessed an unruly scene when the agitating MLAs demanded stringent action against Panem company for denying the conditions of the agreement it signed in 2006 with the evicted people of the Panem coalmine. The Speaker adjourned the House several times due to uproar in the House.

Meanwhile, Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) which runs three power plants in the state may be faced for a serious power crisis as the Panem Coal Mines Limited had issued a caution to PSEB on disruption in supplies of coal to PSEB because of ongoing agitation and economic blockade started by several parties and evicted people of the coalmine.

Panem Coal Mines Limited mines about 7MT coal from Pachuara in Pakur for PSEB’s power plants.

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