MP tops in illegal mining activities
Madhya Pradesh accounts for Rs868-cr penalties in 2 yrs as against Rs2,138-cr from entire country
New Delhi Madhya Pradesh seems to be the worst affected State as far as illegal mining is concerned. As many as 8,178 court cases related to illegal mining were filed during 2020-21 and 2021-22 out of 13,852 total court cases all over the country, official sources told Bizz Buzz. The maximum collection of fines also came from MP, around Rs868 crore in the two years. From the entire country, the fine collected was Rs2,138 crore.
Maharashtra is at the second number. It collected fines worth more than Rs271 crore in the two years. In Gujarat, the collection was Rs245 crore, followed by Rajasthan (Rs199 cr) and Uttar Pradesh (Rs198 cr).
Illegal mining and the penalties thereof are listed in sub-section (1) of Section 6 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act, 1957). It prohibits anyone acquiring in respect of any mineral or prescribed group of associated minerals in a State, one or more mining leases covering a total area of more than ten square kilometers and one or more prospecting licences covering a total area of more than 25 square kilometers.
The central government, as per the law, can increase the aforesaid area limits in the interest of the development of any mineral or industry, in so far as it pertains to any particular mineral, or to any specified category of deposits of such mineral, or to any particular mineral located in any particular area.
Section 23C of the MMDR Act, 1957, empowers State governments to make rules for preventing illegal mining, transportation, and storage of minerals.
Penalty for illegal mining was made more stringent by an Amendment to the MMDR Act in 2015. Penalties for contravention were increased from Rs25,000 per hectare to Rs5 lakh per hectare and the term of imprisonment was increased from two years to five years.
Further, Section-30B of the Act provides for the constitution of special courts by State governments for speedy trial of illegal mining, transportation, and storage cases.