Belekeri port was anchor point for irregularities
Justice Santosh Hegde, in chapter 2 titled ‘Export of illicit iron ore from Belekeri port’ on illegal mining, says that large scale irregularities were found in the small port at Belekeri, south of Karwar in Uttara Kannada district.
His team, along with the forest department which had raided and seized ore at the port, had subsequently lost most of it to theft. About 6.1 lakh metric tonnes (MT) of the seized ore was stolen, while only 2.72 lakh MT remains at the port.
The report states large scale illegal exports of ore was done by private companies – Shree Mallikarjun Shipping Pvt Ltd (SMSPL); Adani Enterprises Ltd; Salgaonkar Mining Industries Pvt Ltd and Raj Mahal Silks.
Officials of the ports department, customs, police, KSPCB, CRZ, mines department and local politicians received bribes from Adani Enterprises for undue favours for illegal exports.
It was found that 44 companies were supplying ore exclusively to Adani, 30 companies to SMSPL and eight to both companies.
The companies are - GG Mines of Gogga Gurushantaiah and brothers, Continent Impex Pvt Ltd, Nagappa mines of Shantalakshmi Jairam, SB Minerals, Junjubail of Dream Logistics, SVK Jaisingpura of S B Minerals, SVK Danapur of S B Minerals, V S Lad, Nadeem Minerals, Sunrise of S B Minerals, ILC of S B Minerals, ILC Bevanahalli, Trident Minerals, Lakshmi Venkateshwara Minerals, Arshad Export of S B Minerals, Alpine International of Vesco, Bharat Mines and Minerals, Taurine Iron and Steel Co Pvt Ltd and Satya Granites.
The ore illegally extracted and transported came from Hospet, Sandur, Bellary and Koppal, the report states.
The total ore exported from Belekeri port from 2006 to 2011 was 2.03 crore MT; permits were issued to transport ore from various places to Belekeri port worth 1.26 crore MT; illegal ore exported was 77.3 lakh MT; illegal ore export was highest in 2009-10 at 36.5 lakh MT; illegal export in two months in 2010-11 was a record breaking 11.5 lakh MT.
An amount of Rs one lakh was collected by Assistant Commissioner Customs quarterly plus 50 paise per MT; the port director collected Rs 50,000 per ship sailed, while a Superintendent of Police collected Rs one lakh bi-monthly as bribe.
Mines and Geology officials, MLAs and MPs were paid in lump sum at regular intervals.