Rampant coal theft in collieries in Tinsukia district

Tinsukia District: Rampant Coal Stealth in Collieries

DIBRUGARH, Coal smugglers operating in open and extracting coal from Margherita’s colliery area and Ledo of the Tinsukia District.

Sources say that there has been rampant theft from coal in Namdang OCP, Tipong and Tipong collieries. The coal thieves rob huge quantities of coal every day from restricted mines.

Coal India Limited workers are unaware that coal smugglers have taken coal out of the mines. They operate and steal coal with the help of Ministers and MLAs. An employee at Coal India Limited spoke on condition of anonymity to say that they are powerful and we can’t do anything about them due to their political backings.”

To steal coal from the coal mines, coal thieves have been using excavators and JCB. From Namdang to Borgolai, Tipong and Ledo OCP, rampant coal theft has been taking place. Coal thieves are able to steal any amount of coal from collieries they like with the assistance of security guards appointed by CIL for security reasons. According to a source, all collieries can be found at Patkai hills.”

We have to climb about 1-2 km up to Pakai Hills to get coal. We get Rs 450 per bag. This has been our business for many years. Coal is our livelihood. My livelihood depends on coal. I’m a permanent employee at a tea garden so I only climb one or two times a day to extract coal, but my friends usually climb between 4-5 and 6 every day,” said a worker who was involved in the illegal mining of coal.

NEC operates at Tikak Colliery in Margherita (Tinsukia) with two opencast project OCPs, namely Tikak OCP & Tikak Extension OCP. Together they have a total coal production of 45,000 tonnes an year.