Rajkot’s Hirasar Airport Construction Flies Into Granular Scam;....

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Rajkot’s Hirasar Airport Construction Flies Into Granular Scam; MP Builder, Collector Grounded

| Updated: March 30, 2023 16:22

In blatant defiance of law, not only did Madhya Pradesh-based Dilip Buildcon evade the royalty to be paid on “soil and stone” used for construction, the firm adopted a cost-cutting mechanism by putting the same excavated gravel and chippings to use, thereby minimising its own expense on procuring material.  

Any land grit, stone or soil excavated are by law, the government’s property. The state earns royalty by selling this stone and clay. However, the builder re-used the same material in construction of the airport which it dug out to level the land at Hirasar. Added, it refused to deposit royalty for its use of minerals in violation of the 2017 mineral royalty rules passed by the Gujarat government. 

Insiders shared how the builder and Rajkot collector Arun Mahesh Babu are hand-in-glove. When contacted for his comment, the collector refused to take any call or answer any message. 

Hirasar Green Field Airport in Rajkot has been built at an outlay of Rs 1,405 crore rupees. “At such a staggering price, only quality material should have been used. We are not sure about the durability of the cement churned from the sand, soil and grit here. Unless the runway is tested by an unbiased agency, it could be a potential hotbed of mishaps,” cautioned an official associated with the project. 

When media noise about evasion of royalty came to the fore earlier this year, the builders offered to pay up. “But the Rajkot Geologist’s office pointed out that the offense is not pardonable under law. Even the commissioner, Mines and Minerals, has also stated that the royalty is not eligible for waiver. Hirasar Airport is being constructed under the supervision of the Rajkot collector. Why has the collector been silent?” questioned the functionary. 

Among pertinent questions, the topmost are:

– Did anyone intimate the company on rules before digging?

– Why didn’t the mining department take note during construction?

– The collector goes on a flying visit but the “theft” of minerals is not seen?

– Who is complicit in damaging the government treasury?

– Why are geologists reporting to the Commissioner of Mines?

– Why is the Commissioner of Mines reporting to the Collector?

– Why is the collector silent?

– Who will ordain collection of royalties?

– Who will enforce the order?

– Once Dilip Buildcon winds up from Rajkot, what next? 

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