Geology and Mining Deptt and illegal mining

Afflicted with various ills , Jammu and Kashmir Geology and Mining Department is virtually on the brink of requiring a revamping going by various factors contributing to the present mess in it. At the outset, let us make it clear that the proportions of not filling the vacancies in various departments, has more or less now become an accepted policy pursued by the Government notwithstanding the impact thereof on the performance and the output of such ”affected” departments. It could also be inferred that performance and output – the two cardinal factors which each entity of the Government must live up to and strive for, are , perhaps, given least importance let alone ensured in expected proportions . There are as many as 450 posts lying vacant in the department which due to sheer non- seriousness of the Government are not filled resulting in not only failure by the department concerned in checking illegal mining across the UT indulged in by unscrupulous elements with impunity but loss of huge revenue to the Government besides resulting in wanton and ruthless exploitation of the mining resources/ belts by unauthorised people .
When even the directions of the High Court in respect of checking illegal mining are not given due regard and the required ”hands” are not provided to the department , how can such illegal mining be stopped is the moot question. We are afraid, just by issuing ”strong warning” to mining thieves and unscrupulous elements engaged in such unlawful trade or by collecting figures and collating data only, things on the ground cannot be resolved especially when it is to check severely the loot in mining area. Even if there were ”other reasons” too for inadequate or scant , even nominal performance on the important front of stopping illegal mining , the Department could under the alibi or the domed shell of inadequate manpower get itself insulated from such inaction. Hence, the responsibility squarely falls on the Government and, therefore, the directives of the High Court to tighten the noose around the mining thieves remain in a state of non compliance.
It is a routine with every Government Department to focus on its personnel and human resources strength as they are the tools to work with and in normal course, retirements, transfers, etc do take place, the cycle of which keeps on moving but with no fresh appointments / replenishments , entire work /duty schedule in offices gets severely impacted . Interestingly , what the Government is doing is collecting relevant data after every six month in respect of the vacant posts from the Department only to do the same exercise next time again but with no follow up action. Analogically, tables , as if are laid , adjusted and readjusted for dinner which never ”comes” while hunger is shooting up and swelling. We have reports that for many years, not a single recruitment is made in this department . We often hear about the mounting vacancies in Government Departments but never how many were filled and when the rest would follow suit. Under such circumstances, that the mineral wealth could be protected from looting is just a wishful thinking.
It is wont with thieves to thieve normally during night hours for obvious reasons and so is with illegal mining ”activities” also which is fairly known to the officials of the department who could have posted its personnel on such points along with the police force but due to staff crunch it does not happen which leads only to mint wealth by mining thieves which otherwise is a net revenue loss to the Government. Connivance of police and even some “insiders” under such a confused situation cannot be ruled out too. It is high time, therefore, that the Government took stock of the situation at least in the interests of protecting our mineral wealth and arrange to fill the vacancies at the earliest in Geology and Mining Department.