CAG picks holes in Tamil Nadu governments management of minerals

 thehindu.com  09/16/2020 18:52:13 

The non-utilisation of the Online Mining Tenement Registry System (OMTRS) resulted in pit mouth violations in 42 cases, involving minerals worth 1,586 crore, said a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India on the revenue sector for the year ended March 31, 2018, tabled in the State Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

During the exercise, it was found that the potential loss on account of non-recovery of cost of the mineral was 1,586 crore in 42 cases involving an area of 99.13 hectares in Salem and Tirunelveli districts. Due to non-furnishing of mining plans, the audit could not estimate the cost of mineral recoverable in 22 cases of pit violations, involving 76.06 hectares, it said.

The Tamil Nadu government did not have a response system in place to act upon the detection of illegal mining activities, it said. The OMTRS was very vital for transparency and to check illicit mining, had not been implemented in all districts and the department did not utilise even the existing data, it pointed out.

There was no coordination between the Department and allied agencies such as the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Director-General of Mines Safety, it contended and added that the department did not use new technologies for better administration of minerals.

The CAG report recommended that the exploration activities in already identified projects may be expedited and fresh explorations may be prioritised through a mineral policy.

Adequate measures may be contemplated using OMTRS mappings and other technological innovations to check and prevent leakage of vital mineral resources due to illegal mining and also to establish a quick response system to take prompt action on information about illegal activities, it said.

*Our Digital Subscription plans do not currently include the e-paper ,crossword, iPhone, iPad mobile applications and print. Our plans enhance your reading experience.

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism

Dear subscriber,

Thank you!

Your support for our journalism is invaluable. Its a support for truth and fairness in journalism. It has helped us keep apace with events and happenings.

The Hindu has always stood for journalism that is in the public interest. At this difficult time, it becomes even more important that we have access to information that has a bearing on our health and well-being, our lives, and livelihoods. As a subscriber, you are not only a beneficiary of our work but also its enabler.

We also reiterate here the promise that our team of reporters, copy editors, fact-checkers, designers, and photographers will deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Suresh Nambath

« Go back