After an inquiry by the Union Environment Ministry, the Integrated Regional Office has recommended penalty of Rs. 81 crores and 82 lakhs against NTPC after finding evidence of illegal mining in 156 hectares (about 400 acres) in Jharkhand.
If paid, this fine would be one of the largest ever imposed on a Public Sector Undertaking. The Integrated Regional Office has recommended a fine of over Rs 81 crore 82 lakh on National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).
A copy of it has also been sent to advocate Navendu Kumar, who is arguing the complaint on behalf of social activist Mantu Soni.
This case is related to the patronage of illegal mining by central undertakings and it is being seen from the point of view of causing damage to the national property. It may be noted that even before this the PSU has been fined.
The Regional Office, Ranchi had sent its report to the Center after conducting a site inspection on November 25 last year after Patna High Court advocate Navendu Kumar’s notice for the complainant.
Illegal mining company in more than 400 acres
According to this report, NTPC and Triveni Sainik Mining Private Limited have done illegal mining in an area of 400 acres more than the prescribed area. On the basis of this report, a fine of Rs 81 crore 89 lakh 82 thousand has been recommended on the central undertaking NTPC.
According to the report, NTPC has done illegal mining beyond the lease area and this is also being proved by the satellite images. Even before this, in March 2022, it was recommended to destroy the Dumuhani drain of Hazaribagh and impose a fine of Rs 23 crore on the mining company for illegal mining on about 100 acres of land.
Allegations of breach of conditions
There is also another allegation on the company that after the construction of the conveyor belt, illegal transportation by road is being promoted, which is a violation of the prescribed conditions. It is the responsibility of the local forest department to stop this illegal transport, but the department seems to be unsuccessful in stopping it.
After the construction of the conveyor belt, the condition of not transporting coal by road was pre-determined and due to non-compliance, the coal particles in the surrounding areas are getting mixed in the atmosphere and are posing a threat to the lives of common people.
An email sent to Shri Gurdeep Singh by www.indianpsu.com – asking for his comments / reaction on this development, did not elicit any response.