In the wake of allegations of transport of illegally mined ore, the mines departments of Odisha and Jharkhand have decided to restrict inter-state transportation of minerals by road.
“All cases of inter-state transportation of minerals by road from different mines to the plant sites on either side of the Odisha-Jharkhand border will be reviewed by the respective director of mines. The concerned lessees will be impressed upon to transport the minerals across the borders only through Railways. We are encouraging rail movement across the borders as a precautionary measure to avert illegal ore transport,” said a senior official of steel & mines department.
Restrictions will be imposed on plying of heavy vehicles in the border areas. Such vehicles will be allowed to ply only on the routes recommended by the transport department of the respective states.
Regular checking of mineral carrying vehicles will be ensured by the transport and commercial tax departments of both the states in the border areas to detect the cases of overloading. Stringent action will be taken against the defaulters.
This apart, a special cell will be set up in the home department of both the states to monitor the illegal activities in connection with mining operations. The special cell will also have a representative of the directorate of mines. The cell will ensure sharing of information and follow-up action in pursuance of the decisions taken by the inter-state coordination committee.
It has been decided to form a single inter-state district level coordination committee with officials from the bordering districts of Keonjhar, Sundergarh and Mayurbhanj in Odisha as well as East Singbhum, West Singbhum and Sareikala in Jharkhand. The panel will have the respective district collectors, superintendent of police, commercial tax officers, divisional forest officers, regional transport officers, deputy director of mines and divisional railway managers.
Smuggling prone routes and outlets along with the location of storage depots and crusher units on either side of the border will be identified and mapping of the same will be done. The maps would clearly indicate the roads and places where low height barriers are to be erected and trenches are to be dug. The relevant information will be submitted to the Odisha and Jharkhand governments two months after due vetting by the coordination committee.
The coordination committee will ensure raids, surprise checking and night patrolling along the border areas by the inter-departmental staff of both the states.