Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren wrote to Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw Wednesday that there’s a “nexus” between the Indian Railways and its officials who’re encouraging illegal mining in the state. He said minerals were being shipped using fake challans and despite repeated reminders, no effort had been made to track them.
In a letter, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) revealed that 1,350 railway rakes were used to transport illegally mined stone chips from railway stations in Bihar, Barharwa and Jharkhand, when it came to light that the ED had written to the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
It’s impossible to mine illegally without the help of a certain form of transportation, said the chief minister. To keep track of ferried goods, the state has integrated JIMMS (Jharkhand Integrated Mines and Minerals Management System) software with the state transport, NHAI, and road construction departments’ tolls. The CM wrote that the Railways haven’t integrated their Freight Operations Management System (FIOS) with JIMMS despite several reminders.
We’re sorry to let you know that the Railways won’t help us stop illegal mining. In spite of several letters from the state government to the Railways, minerals are being ferry without challans. Despite several requests from the state government, the Railways haven’t integrated their software with JIMMS, except for iron ore. There’s been communication between the state government, the Central Government’s Niti Aayog and the Coal Ministry. I was surprised that coal from the state is being transported via railways without integration with the JIMMS portal despite me raising the issue with the coal minister,” the Chief Minister wrote.
As part of its investigation into the Sahebganj illegal stone mining, the ED says more than 3,531 railway rakes were used to transport illegal stone chips without challans over the last two years through nine loading points. The illegal mining continues with the help of the Railways, and officials of the Railways seem involved in this, he wrote. Various attempts have been made to stop it, but we’re getting information that the illegal mining continues.
The CM added: “Uprokt se spast hota hai ki Jharkhand mein Awaidh Khanan ko badhawa dene mein railways awem padhadhikarion ki samlipta pratit hoti hai awem ek sajishke tehet railway ke dwara Jharkhand Rajya ke JIMMS portal se apne FIOS (Freight Operations Information System) ko integrate nahi kiya jaa raha hai awem bagair chalaan athwa farzi chalan ke aadhaar par awaidh roop se khanij sampada ka rel marg se parivahan kiya jaa raha hai (“There’s a nexus between the Railways and its officials encouraging illegal mining and as part of a conspiracy, the Railways doesn’t integrate its FIOS software through JIMMS and mined goods are being shipped by rail using fake challans.”)