As soon as Bhajan Lal Sharma became the Chief Minister, he gave a strong attack on corruption and gave sleepless nights to the corrupt.

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The problem of illegal mining, transportation and storage is not confined to any one state but is spreading like a canker in the entire country. News of illegal mining is seen every day from almost every corner of the country. In Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, news of illegal mining and transportation of gravel and other minerals as well as accidents caused by gravel mafia are common. Illegal mining of precious minerals and mining and transportation beyond government control are also common. Due to illegal mining activities, governments have to struggle on many fronts. On one hand, illegal mining, on top of that, open bullying by mining mafias, loss of revenue to the government, daily accidents due to non-compliance of mining safety standards and loss of lives due to concealment during mineral transportation is a different game. It happens. Due to illegal mining activities and bullying of mining mafia, the government has to face problems every day. But concrete efforts are not made by the governments to find a solution and this is also due to pressure groups. In such a situation, the way Bhajan Lal Sharma of Rajasthan’s new BJP has taken concrete action by running a campaign against illegal mining activities as soon as he took charge, it is indeed a courageous act in the current political environment. However, if the governments have the will, then no step can be difficult. The initiative of the Government of Rajasthan can also be considered commendable because without wasting any time, the government decided to take action by running a campaign and by ensuring public participation, the results could have been even better. This can be inspirational for other states also.

It was the result of the willpower of the Bhajan Lal Sharma government of Rajasthan and the policy of zero tolerance against illegal mining activities that as soon as the government took charge, it took a big initiative and decided to run a state-wide campaign in the state from January 15 to January 31, 24. . Swift action was taken against illegal mining activities across the state, while public participation was also ensured to make the campaign successful. The campaign against illegal mining activities should not remain merely a matter of sustenance, hence emphasis was laid on attacking the root of illegal mining. During the campaign, emphasis was not limited to the detection of vehicles transporting illegal minerals but emphasis was laid on finding the source and taking action against it along with confiscation of machines and equipment. District Collectors were given the responsibility of conducting, monitoring and coordinating the joint operation of five departments namely Mines, Revenue, Transport, Police and Forest Department. Due to this, active participation of police and administration could also be ensured.

If the campaign is understood in figures, 2643 actions were taken during the statewide campaign against illegal mining activities, out of which 613 actions were taken at large scale illegal mining sites. 564 First Information Reports were lodged with the police and 264 people involved in illegal mining activities were arrested. More than 2.5 lakh tonnes of illegally stored minerals worth Rs 12 crore 62 lakh were seized. 54 excavators, 69 JCB, 6 cranes and 1773 vehicles were seized. A fine of more than Rs 12 crore 76 lakh was collected on the spot and deposited in the government treasury. Along with this, action was taken by sending a team of officers from other districts on the information received from confidential information and a fine of crores of rupees was imposed. In many proceedings, the District Collector himself reached the spot. The question is not about statistics. It is not a question of praising the government but it is a question of the will of the government and the machinery of the Mines Department taking active action and the way in which the machinery of the Mines Department along with other departments worked in a planned manner in such a short time is commendable. Is.

The special thing is that despite the government being new, the Chief Minister new, the Chief Secretary new and the Mines Secretary new, within a few hours such a well-planned action plan for the campaign against the mining mafia was prepared that when the results came, even those who doubted the success of the campaign would be surprised. Had to bite my finger. It can be understood that after the election results came, Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma took oath on 15 December, in the first week of January, new Chief Secretary Sudhansh Pant took charge on 1 January. On January 10, Anandi was appointed as Mines Secretary in the transfer list of IAS officers and as soon as he took charge as Mines Secretary the next day, i.e. late in the evening on January 11, Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma, who is also the Mines Minister himself, held a review meeting of the Mines Department. Expressing strong displeasure over illegal mining activities in the state, instructions were given to take strict action against illegal mining activities. Following the instructions of the Chief Minister, the next day on January 12, Chief Secretary Sudhansh Pant issued instructions to conduct a joint campaign by the Mines, Revenue, Transport, Police and Forest Departments from January 15 to January 31, 2024. It was decided to immediately hold a committee meeting under the chairmanship of the District Collector and to organize a state-wide campaign under the direction of the District Collector. Chief Secretary Sudhansh Pant also issued a check list in the instructions issued to the district collectors. Mines Secretary Anandi took the responsibility of activating the mines department and the entire machinery was activated within a few hours. Along with monitoring at the Government Secretary Mines level, Additional Director Vigilance was made the coordinator in-charge at Headquarters Udaipur. To ensure public participation in the campaign, a 24×7 control room was set up and an SME level officer was made in-charge of the control room. Along with this, a separate mobile number of the control room was also issued on which instructions were given to take action on the complaints received within 24 hours and effective monitoring of action on the complaints received was ensured. Along with this, action was taken on the complaints/information received confidentially at a higher level by sending a team of officers from other places in a confidential manner, which has also yielded positive results.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma, by running a successful campaign against illegal mining activities, has broken the common myth in which questions are raised about the seriousness of the government towards the campaigns. Rather, it should be said that the way the work is done in disaster management, the campaign against illegal mining activities was conducted in the same way in the state and proved the government’s commitment of zero tolerance among the common people. Millions of allegations and counter-allegations may be made, but there is no doubt that the way the Mines Department team has implemented the intentions and willpower of the government in making the campaign successful is also commendable. The campaign has ended but the spirit of the campaign i.e. the feeling that illegal mining activities should not be allowed, for this the machinery will have to be in full swing, only then the campaign will be successful in its objectives.

Governments of almost all the states are facing problems due to illegal mining activities and mining mafias. In such a situation, this campaign of Rajasthan government can become an example for other states. From this it has become clear that if the governments have the will, then effective action can be taken easily. State governments will have to come forward and take strict steps to protect the mineral wealth of the country and territories from mining mafias, to get relief from the law and order problems that arise every day due to mining mafias and to prevent leakage of government revenue. We will have to rise above political pressures and make concrete efforts. The government of Rajasthan has prepared its role, the mineral rich states can take further steps in this direction.

-Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sharma

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