Tainted officer to issue tender for sand mining in Bihar

The Bihar government’s Mines and Geology Department has given responsibility to a “tainted officer” to issue tender of sand mining in eight districts of the state.

The notification was issued by Harjot Kaur Banhara, Principal Secretary of the Mines and Geology Ministry and the responsibility was given to Surendra Prasad Sinha.

Sinha, along with four other officials were removed from their respective posts in July this year after the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) found them guilty of earning disproportionate assets.

Following EOW recommendation, the department suspended Sinha, who was deployed as Mining Development Officer of Patna and Sanjay Kumar Executive Director of the department in July. The other three officers Pramod Kumar, Rajesh Kumar and Mukesh Kumar were transferred to the headquarters in Patna.

Bihar State Mining Corporation (BSMC) issued a tender for sand mining in eight districts five days ago.

The tender was issued with the signature of Sinha, the administrative officer of BSMC.

Illegal sand mining is rampant in Bihar with a large number of police and administrative officers having hand in glove with sand mafias.

During the series of FIRs in EOW police station in Patna, the unit had recommended to the respective department for the suspension of two SP rank officers, four SDPOs, one SDO, one MVI, three circle officers apart from five mining officers.

Janak Ram, the Mining and Geology Minister said: “The appointments of officers were done from the office of Principal Secretary. I have nothing to say on it.”

When contacted, Principal Secretary Banhara didn’t answer IANS phone calls.