Illegal mining activities witnessed a sharp spike in India during 2010, with 82,330 cases detected by law enforcement agencies during the year, almost double the 41,578 cases unearthed in 2009.
Mines Minister Mr Dinsha Patel informed the Rajya Sabha that the rate of illegal mining appears to be accelerating, as government agencies detected as many as 24,405 cases in the first three months (January to March) of 2011, almost 30% the number of such activities seen in the whole of 2010.
In his reply, Mr Patel said that in 2010, the highest number of illegal mining cases were reported in Maharashtra, at 34,384, which accounted for about 41.64% of the cases registered across the nation during the year. The number of cases detected in Maharashtra in 2010 was 4.14 times the number seen in 2009, when 8,270 cases were reported.
However, he did not specify the minerals for which large scale illegal mining activities were taking place.
Illegal mining activities in Karnataka, which is under the Supreme Court scanner, have risen by 2.93 times, with 4,949 cases reported in 2010, as against 1,687 such incidents in 2009.
Similarly, other mineral rich states like Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have also reported a huge rise in illegal mining cases, reporting 17,882 and 2,942 cases, respectively, in 2010. These are about 1.54 times and 2.72 times higher than the 2009 figures for the respective states.
Data provided in Mr Patel's reply showed that the above four states accounted for almost 73% of the illegal mining cases lodged in 2010, at 60,057.
It further said that illegal mining activities have been continuously rising and between January and March this year, with 10,349 cases detected in Maharashtra alone, about 30% of the total number of cases reported in 2010.
Moreover, Karnataka reported 1,263 illegal mining cases between January and March this year, 25% of the 2010 figure for the state.
Similar stories have been reported in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, where 4,594 and 923 illegal mining cases were detected in the first three months of 2011.
(Sourced from ET)