Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 16:
Acting on the letter of Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, Union Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar today asked IBM (Indian Bureau of Mines) to investigate into the allegations of illegal stacking of minerals in Odisha’s Sundergarh district.
Unhappy over the local administration’s slack attitude towards the unclaimed minerals worth crores of rupees lying near Renjda railway siding in the Koida mines, Oram had written a letter to Union Minister Tomar on October 8.
In his letter, he had requested his ministerial colleague to send a team of IBM officials to probe into the incident and initiate appropriate action in this regard.
“Neither the local administration nor the Deputy Director of Mines of the circle has taken proper action after inquiring into the allegations. I have information from the locals that these are the stolen iron ore from local mines by a local contractor and it is worth around Rs 100 crores. I would quit politics if these allegations are proven false,” Oram had said.
After the locals detected the huge quantity of iron kept hidden in pits covered by soil in the area, other politicians from BJP started rushing to the spot.
Based on the villagers’ statement, BJP leader KV Singhdeo on October 13 had claimed that the illegal iron ore in shape of lumps, fines and size ores would weigh around 30,000 tonnes worth Rs 100 to 120 crore. Besides, he went on to claim that the mineral were smuggled from Tata mines and another state owned mine.
State Mining Minister Prafulla Mallick, however, rubbished the allegation and stated that even though the state government had carried out a preliminary investigation by Koida Deputy Director of Mines (DDM) and Mining Inspector into the allegation, they had found nothing substantial.