House, target BJD Bhubaneswar, Oct 5 (PTI) The Odisha Assembly on Monday witnessed heated exchange of words between members of the opposition and the treasury bench over alleged mining irregularities in the state.
BJP and Congress MLAs raised the issue in the House and accused the state's BJD government of allowing gross irregularities in the mining sector leading to loss of thousands of crores of rupees for the state.
The BJD, however, said that nothing is being done secretly and the opposition is only beating around the bush without presenting fact-based evidence.
Leader of the Opposition P K Naik alleged that the mining mafia and bureaucrats have joined hands to loot money from illegal mining activities in the state.
The way the mining leases were renewed, the states interests were not served, the BJP MLA alleged.
He said that though he had written 10 letters to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the mining irregularities, he was not given acknowledgement of any of his communications.
Naik alleged that a few bureaucrats have looted around Rs 1,00,000 crore from the mining lease and demanded action against the erring officers.
Congress and BJP members also wondered how the state government renewed the lease period of certain mines as vigilance cases are pending against them.
Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra said that there are irregularities in the auction of nine mine blocks resulting into the loss of around Rs 3,600 crore to the state exchequer.
'Such a huge loss cannot occur without the knowledge of the government,' Mishra said.
Ruling BJD member PK Deb defended the state administration saying that auction of coal blocks is held as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court, the Centre and the state government and asked opposition leaders to submit strong evidence in support of their allegation of irregularities.
Deb said that Coal and Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had earlier stated that Odisha would receive lakhs of rupees from mining revenue.
'But how much money did the state actually receive?' he asked. PTI AAM NN NN