BJP MLA exposes Yogi govt; says officers taking cut to promote illegal mining

BJP lawmaker Savitri Katheria exposed Yogi Government’s much hyped claim of putting an end to illegal mining, after she carried out raids to stop illegal mining in her constituency Bharthana, UP

Seized overloaded trucks standing at Chakkar Nagar road, Uttar Pradesh (NH Photo)
Seized overloaded trucks standing at Chakkar Nagar road, Uttar Pradesh (NH Photo)

Biswajeet Banerjee

Yogi Government’s much hyped claim of putting an end to illegal mining was exposed by BJP Law maker of Etawah who carried out raids to stop illegal mining in her constituency because “her complaint to district officials against illegal mining had fell on deaf ears.”

This BJP lawmaker is Savitri Katheria, who had won election for the first time from Bharthana.

“This is high time that Yogi government should act because the district officials are hand in glove with people who run illegal mining syndicate. I have no hesitation in saying that illegal mining is still on. Some of the district officials are taking cuts for promoting illegal mining,” she said.

It all happened on Wednesday when the BJP lawmaker along with her supporters reached Chakkar Nagar area and stopped 18 overloaded trucks carrying coarse sand (morang). As the word spread that BJP MLA was carrying out inspection the SDM Chakar Nagar Indrajit Singh, CO Baijnath Singh and other senior officials reached the site and assured action against illegal mining.

The officials of the transport department too reached there and booked these trucks for over-loading.

The trucks, majority of them carrying Madhya Pradesh registration number, take coarse sand illegally from Chambal and sell them off to various regions of Uttar Pradesh. As these trucks pass through Etawah, the officials prefer to turn a Nelson’s eye giving a free passage in lieu of money.

“I had told district administration a number of times about this illegal activity but no action was taken against these people. The Circle Officer of Sahson and inspectors of Bakewar, Lavedi and Chakkar Nagar are giving patronage to these illegal traders,” she said.

In the evening the SSP, Etawah Santosh Kumar Mishra transferred Circle officer Chakkar Nagar Chandra Pal Singh and appointed him as CP city in place of Vaibhav pandey who has gone to Chakar Nagar as CO.

People who know this area claim that around 200 overloaded trucks pass through Chakkar Nagar –Sindhis road every day. This road connects Madhya Pradesh with UP. Cuts are fixed for every official who matter from transport to police and from mining to SDM which makes it a flourishing trade.

Illegal mining has always been a big news in Uttar Pradesh. During Samajwadi party regime the Mining Minister Gayatri Prajapati was alleged to have made an empire building hospitals and industries. Before 2012, Prajapati carried a BPL card but within three years he became a multi-millionaire.

The CBI has been probing illegal mining cases under the direction of the Allahabad High Court.  On June 12, 2019 the CBI conducted searches at more than 20 places, including premises linked to Gayatri Prajapati and former Lok Sabha MP Ghanshyam Anuragi, in connection with alleged illegal mining of minor minerals in Hamirpur district.

“The searches were carried out in and around Hamirpur, Jalaun, Lucknow, Ghaziabad and Delhi. Three premises are linked to Prajapati and one to Mr. Anuragi,” a CBI official said.

Anuragi, who was earlier with the Samajwadi Party, joined the Bahujan Samaj Party in 2017 and then the BJP in April this year.

The agency had registered the case in January, alleging illegal mining of minor minerals in Hamirpur during 2012-16. Among those named was the then District Magistrate B. Chandrakala (an IAS official). The case was made out on the basis of an inquiry initiated following an Allahabad High Court directive.

The CBI also registered cases against three IAS officers Jivesh Nandan, Santosh Kumar and Abhay Singh. Cash of ₹40 lakh was recovered from the residence of  Singh. All the three were accused of favouring two businessmen by granting mining lease of 90 and 100 acres, respectively.

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