Gujarat government lost Rs 25 cr revenue due to the steel slag mafia in Hazira
The steel slag mafia, who have been active in Hazira for the last many years, are lifting the slag free-of charge in the name of waste material and selling the material in the open market to earn crores of rupees.
Surat (Gujarat) : The steel slag mafia operating in the coastal belt of Surat has illegally lifted steel slag to the tune of over Rs 25 crore from the government-owned land on the Hazira seashore, incurring huge losses to the government exchequer in the last few days.
Steel slag, a byproduct of iron and steel production, has a high market value due to the re-processing method and is suitable for ballast material for construction projects, road construction projects, and so on.The steel slag mafia, who have been active in Hazira for the last many years, are lifting the slag free-of charge in the name of waste material and selling the material in the open market to earn crores of rupees.
A 10-kilometer stretch of the Hazira seashore has been dumped with steel slag on government owned land falling under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) for many years. The steel slag mafia in Hazira came under the spotlight after they mobilised a huge amount of machinery, including JCBs, Pokelan machines, and hundreds of transport trucks, to lift the steel slag from the seashore.
The Blunt Times was the first to publish the article exposing the nexus of the steel slag mafia with politicians and government officials in carrying out their ill motives.
Sources in Hazira informed the network of lifting steel slag from the seashore in Hazira is run by one Sanjay Patel alias Sajlo and Janak Patel. The duo is on good terms with the giant industries in Hazira and deals in the scrap and other waste products generated by the industries. One Mukesh Soni is also involved in the racket.
Sajlo, who is also a member of Hazira village panchayat, is acting as the middleman for a few companies in Hazira and has been notorious for taking decisions in favour of the companies at the expense of the innocent residents in the affected area.
Dipak Patel, an activist in Hazira, told TBT, “Sanjay Patel alias Sajlo is the main kingpin in the entire racket of lifting steel slag from the government land and incurring huge losses to the state government. ” “I have submitted a complaint to the District Collector, demanding thorough inquiry into this issue. The steel slag dumped in Hazira is capable of earning huge amounts of revenue for the State Government.”