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AP govt halts mining activities in 6 areas

Bellary/Bangalore,Nov 25,Deccan Herald News Service :

CEC didnít visit mining area, says Reddy

Mining operations in six areas leased out to mining companies, including Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) owned by politically powerful Bellary Reddy brothers, came to a halt on Wednesday afternoon as the Andhra Pradesh Mines and Geology Department directed them to stop the activities with immediate effect.



"As there is likely to be a delay in sending the government order to stop the mining, a letter has been given to the companies to stop mining activities and lifting of mined ore with immediate effect," Andhra Pradesh Mines and Geology Department Assistant Director Sairam Singh told Deccan Herald from Ananthpur on phone.

The AP government had decided to stop mining by OMC (68.5 hectares, 25.981 ha and 39.5 ha); Ananthapura Mining Company (6.5 ha); Y Mahabaleshwarappa Mines (20 ha) and Bellary Iron Ore Company (27 ha). The AP government's move follows the Central Empowerment Committee's recommendation to stop mining in controversial areas.


Minister's version

In Bangalore on Wednesday morning, OMC owner and Tourism Minister Janardhana Reddy said he had not received any show cause notice or orders from the AP government to stop the mining operations.

Reddy reiterated that the Supreme Court-appointed CEC had no jurisdiction to give such suggestions. "The CEC has not been asked by the SC to submit any report or affidavit," Reddy said. The CEC had not even visited his mining area, he added.

Sources close to Reddy said that he is planning to focus on completing the first phase of the Rs 20,000-crore steel plant under the banner of Brahmani Industries Limited in Kadapa district of AP. The first phase is likely to be completed by October next year.

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