Godavarikhani: Coal thefts end, kids back in schools

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New ASP busts two decades-old racket.

Godavarikhani: The authorities NTPC-Ramagundam and schools located around the industrial town have found a reason to smile after Godavarikhani’s police clamped down on the two-decades old racket of pilfering coal. The power major is now able to avoid a loss of around Rs 75 lakh per  month. Everybody in the town is applauding ASP Vishnu S. Warrier for checking the menace.

Coal pilferage began two decades ago. It became an organised crime soon with the involvement of goons and politicians and the connivance of corrupt officials of the police, the Singareni Collieries Company Limited and SCR.

The coal being transported from coal mines located around Godavarikhani was stolen by the gangs before it was dispatched on railway wagons to the NTPC. On an overage, 80 tonnes of coal was being stolen by the mafia every day. As a result, the NTPC was incurring a loss of Rs 75 lakh to Rs 85 lakh a month.

Above all, students studying in government schools in Elkalapalli, Indiranagar, Laxmipur and Goutham-inagar were not focusing on studies. The mafia was using not only adults, but also children for stealing the coal by paying Rs 300 and Rs 1,000 per day. The menace continued for a long time. However, ASP Warrier ended the thefts this January with the help of CISF personnel and SCCL.

 ASP Warrier said, “Patrolling was intensified around mines and rail tracks through which coal was being transported to NTPC. 12 cases were booked and 120 tonnes of coal were seized. 65 suspects were bounded over before revenue officials.”

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