Illegal mining: Only 6% cases ended up as FIRs in 2022

The data provided for 16 states in the Rajya Sabha indicated that while incidents of illegal mining were substantial, the rate of registration of FIRs was abysmally low

illegal Mining
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Rather shocking data was presented in Rajya Sabha about illegal mining in the country, which indicated that out of the 60,419 cases of illegal mining in 16 states, only 3,686 FIRs were lodged. The question was raised by Dr Prashanta Nanda (BJD) and Ms Sulata Deo (BJD) to the Ministry of Mines on March 20.

Mining in India is regulated under the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act (MMDR Act). Penalty for illegal mining was made more stringent by amendment of the MMDR Act in 2015. Penalties for contravention of Section 4(1) and 4(1A) of the Act have been increased from Rs. 25 thousand per hectare to Rs. 5 Lakh per hectare and the term of imprisonment has been increased from 2 years to 5 years.

A total of 22 states have framed rules to curb illegal mining. Illegal mining is when mining is carried without license or outside the licensed area or when more than the permissible amount is extracted.

As per the latest data provided by the Ministry, pertaining to the period between April 1, 2022 to September 30, 2022, a total of 60,419 cases of illegal mining occurred in which only 3,686 FIRs were lodged  and even lower 2,931 cases were filed in court. The highest number of cases were from Telangana (17,938) and the lowest from Goa (1). The highest number of FIR’s were from Sikkim (1,245) and zero FIRs filed in Andhra Pradesh (4,296 cases), Goa (1 case), Himachal Pradesh (1,934 cases), Kerala (,3617 cases), Odisha (7 cases), Tamil Nadu (4,495 cases) and Uttar Pradesh (757).

As per earlier data provided by the government and analysed by Down to, Maharashtra had the highest number of cases of illegal mining in 2015-16 with 33,621 cases. Looking at this one can say, there has definitely been a dip in such cases, since the highest number of illegal mining cases for April-September 2022 is 17,938 from Telangana. Odisha is said to have made considerable progress in curbing illegal mining as it reduced the number of cases by more than 90 per cent, from 487 in 2009-10 to just 45 in 2016-17 and just 7 cases in 2022.

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