Illegal quarrying going on unabated in Gulbarga
Private company accused of plundering natural wealth
A private company has been allegedly extracting high-quality Shahbad stone slabs illegally at Wadi and villages near Chittapur in Gulbarga district for the past several years.
According to Ashok Dahinde and Nariman Irani, the shareholders of Wadi Stone Marketing Company, the firm was quarrying stone even after its lease had expired in 1992.
The company was given the mining lease by the then Hyderabad government in 1952 for a period of 20 years. After the re-organisation of Karnataka, the lease period was renewed for another 20 years up to 1992.
Defaulted on payment
A dispute arose over the demand of arrears raised by the Mines and Geology Department.
The High Court of Karnataka, in June last year, upheld the demand for arrears.
According to sources, the department has issued notices to recover the dues of Rs 30 crore, and the revenue authorities are yet to act on it.
Dahinde and Irani had been running from pillar to post with petitions seeking to stall the illegal quarrying.
They have approached the tahsildar, the regional commissioner, and the director of the Mines and Geology Department in this regard.
The regional commissioner directed the deputy commissioner on December 2, 2011, to inspect the quarry site and initiate suitable action.
No action, yet
However, there has been no action even after six months of the direction.
The Director of Mines and Geology, Bangalore, on February 2, 2012, ordered the Deputy Director of the Department in Gulbarga to conduct a spot inspection and file a first information report. The inspection is yet to be carried out.
Dahinde and Irani have also alleged in their petition that the company had been illegally alienating large portions of the quarry land to stone cutters, without any authority.
‘Officers mute spectators’
According to sources, Wadi and the surrounding areas have become hotbeds of illegal quarrying.
“About 90 per cent of the quarrying is illegal,” said an official of the Mines and Geology Department who retired from service recently.
“All the officers concerned have become mute spectators to the plundering of mineral wealth. A probe by the Central Bureau of Inestigation will certainly reveal that it is another Bellary,” said Dahinde and Irani.