The Centre on Monday informed the Parliament that more than 21,000 first information reports (FIRs) were registered against incidents of illegal mining in the country with Tamil Nadu topping the list last year till September.
Based on the information regarding quarterly returns on illegal mining provided by State Governments to Indian Bureau of Mines, Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary, Minister of State for Mines and Coal in a written reply to a question on incidents of illegal mining in the Rajya Sabha stated that 21,559 FIRs were lodged from various States during 2017-18 till September.
As per the information, Tamil Nadu reported the highest FIRs (10,734), followed by Rajasthan (2,536), Jharkhand (2,444), Karnataka (1,798), West Bengal (1,132), among others.
The Minister also said that 64,420 court cases were also filed, 2,31,889 vehicle were seized and the state governments realised more than 23 crores fines during the period.
As per section 23C of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 (MMDR Act), State Governments are empowered to frame rules for prevention of illegal mining, storage and transportation for both major and minor minerals and for purposes connected therewith.
Matter relating to regulation and control of illegal mining is completely within the domain of respective State Governments.