Mamata blames Bengal administration for illegal mining

Kolkata, Oct 30 (Calcutta Tube) Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday blamed the state administration for rampant illegal mining in West Bengal’s Burdwan district, saying its failure to set up industries has aggravated the problem.

‘Industries have not prospered in Kulti, Asansol and other areas in the district. That’s why illegal mining industry is gaining mileage in this area.

‘These areas have not developed the way they should have. The administration is not doing enough to control illegal mining,’ Banerjee said at Andal, in Burdwan district.

Several areas in and around Kulti and nearby Asansol have been experiencing landslides due to rampant illegal mining.

Banerjee was speaking at a railway function, from where she flagged off the upcoming wagon factory at Kulti. The factory, to be called ‘Bengal Wagon Industry’, would come up at the premises of the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) Growth Works unit.

The factory has the capacity of manufacture 100 wagons a year, and would make modern stainless steel wagons including specialised high-end coaches.

The project-cost is envisaged to be around Rs.85 crore in the first phase, and is expected to reach up to Rs.120 crore in the second phase.

The project, a joint venture between Railway Ministry’s public sector unit RITES and SAIL, was announced in this year’s Railway Budget.

Banerjee also launched the augmentation of electric locomotives manufacturing capacity at the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW). Its capacity is proposed to be increased from 150 to 275 electric locomotives per year.

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