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BJD Govt encouraged illegal mining in State, alleges BJP




 State BJP today alleged a nexus between mining mafia and government functionaries in State due to which miners managed more time to pay fine.

BJP spokesman Pitambar Acharya told reporters here today that the State government never considered people’s welfare. Rather it tried to cling to power somehow.

“The State government is worried about remaining in power, instead of thinking about people’s welfare. Therefore, they have neglected farming and encouraged mining,” Acharya said.

He said, BJP legislators raised the mining issue in the Assembly and demanded that fine be collected from miners at the earliest to be utilized for development of the tribals in the State or could have been given to the farmers as bonus.

Acharya also alleged that government officials were collecting funds from mining mafia for ruling party’s use.

The BJP leader said that the State government had served notices on the mining lessees for over Rs 59,000 crore.

“But taking a lenient view later the BJD government slashed the fine amount to about Rs 17,000 crore only. This is because the party is contesting election with funds collected from the mining mafia,” Acharya alleged.

Acharya said a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Chief Secretary has been formed to ensure development of tribals.

“If the State government had collected the entire fine amount, it could have been used for development of Tribals,” he added.

However, ruling BJD rubbished the charges.

Party spokesman Sameer Ranjan Das said, even though the miners knocked the doors of the Supreme Court seeking relief, the apex court has asked them to a pay the fine by December 31.

“This vindicates the State government’s stance,” Das said.

Notably, the Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the plea of miners in the State to extend the deadline for payment of over Rs 17,576 crore compensation for illegal mining.

The State government had slapped demand notices against 152 lessees on the basis of the August 2 Supreme Court order. But the lessees moved the apex court requesting an extension of the deadline.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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