Drone exposes biggest mining scam in Rajasthan

Govt was robbed of due revenue of Rs 55 cr by manipulating mining lease

Jaipur/Gotan: In a major scam busted by the mining department, through a drone survey done for the first time of the mines, the government was robbed of its due revenue worth Rs 55 crore by manipulating mining lease through illegal gravel mining and underpaying DMFT & GST.

The exposé relates to a drone survey held in Gotan AEN mining area where the lease holders were not only manipulating the Transit Bills (TB/Ravanna) but also mining beyond the lease area. Permission for FIR against the accused has been given. The department on getting complaint, ordered a drone survey on January 13 and the outcome shocked the department. Out of the 1,416 transit bills (TB) scrutinised, the lease holder had transported 4,646 tonne gravel against the actual capacity of vehicles being only 26,571 tonne meaning that he mentioned 3 tonne in the TB against actual 18 tonnes.

The department calculated this loss to be of approximately Rs 75 lakh, which with penalty would be Rs 7.5 crore. The department then not only appointed Silicon IT Hub (P) Ltd of Gujarat for drone surveys in Gotan mining area but also put a blanket ban on issuance of fresh mining lease till further orders.

The drone survey team under three mining personnel from Salumbar also demarcated the lease areas of 43 leases. It revealed that 42 of 43 were involved in illegal mining while 16 lease holders not only showed mining production of 1.52 thousand tonne while issued the TB of 4,4500 tonne but also misused TB for 3.44 lakh tonne gravel brought from somewhere else, this will attract a penalty of Rs 12.21 crore. 26 lease holders paid royalty only for 5.79 lakh tonne against actual 15.94 lakh tonne, now attracting a penalty of Rs 36.06 crore.

The most surprising aspect was issuance of EC to 36 lessee between July–October 2019 raising the question on such huge quantity mining, revealing the fact that illegal mining was rampant for quite some time. This also points to the collusion of the local department personnel.

Now everybody awaits the actual execution of the recovery of the penalty and a strong action against culprits.