India is having one of the largest coal reserves in the world, but the dark reality of the coalmines is still undercover. Lesser known to the common person is the fact that the largest and the most productive coal belts are situated in the mafia and Maoist areas. Foreign investors are eagerly investing in the Indian coal industries without knowing the fact that coal is not just being taken into use for the development of India, but has even become the greatest source of income for the mafia world and Maoist. Along with this, local politicians are also filling their pockets with use of these coal belts.
Jibon Roy who was the former coal minister of India stated that, Naxal activities are most common in the areas of West Bengal and Jharkhand where coal belts are the considered the most productive. He also added that, because of these activities, the production of coal is being hampered. Mr Roy has earlier been quoted as saying that at least 10,000 mafia groups are active in coal-producing belts, mostly in CIL collieries, and plunder around five-six million tons of coal (worth more than Rs420 crore) every year. According to another report, about 7, 20,000 tons of coal is smuggled every year in Jharkhand by organized syndicates of the coal mafia.
The government of India stated that they are taking the adequate steps and measures to stop the crimes, which are related to the coalmines. Spokesperson from the Indian government are stating that, they have taken the measures to stop illegal mining which is coming as a hamper in the way of production and development of India. Along with this, the Indian government is taking use of different law enforcement agencies so that they can control the working of illegal mining and swindles. As illegal mining has become one of the greatest threats to the development of India, it is essential to stop it as soon as possible.
Mr Roy stated that, gangs, which are involved in coal crimes, are working in an organized manner. Not just big gangs, but woman and children are also involved in organized crimes related to coal. This way, big gangs are able to operate with ease. Along with this, ministers are selling off the mines at cheap rates so that they can gain the major benefits from it with ease. Even though coal-producing and consuming companies are gaining mammoth profits every year, the socio-economic condition of the people living in these areas is still very poor.