Govt report indicates little action on illegal mining

CEC dismisses State officials presentation as inconsequential

But the CEC reportedly dismissed the presentation as ‘inconsequential’ as it contained no discernible action taken by the government.

The 33-slide presentation is representative of the thinking that these officials have been accused of: washing their hands of by issuing an initial notice, and then sitting quiet.

For instance, the Lokayukta report of 2008 points out that 99 leases in Bellary district encroached around 1,081 hectares of land.

What action has the government taken so far? In only five cases some encroachment has been confirmed, and the inquiry is still in progress.

While in 13 cases no encroachment was found, up to 39 cases are yet to be surveyed. The government has laid the blame for the delay at the door of Indian Bureau of Mines and the Survey of India for not conducting the joint survey in the last three years.

Govt inaction

In his report, the Lokayukta had concluded that the practice of raising contracts – where a lease holder enters into a contract with a firm for the latter to mine on his lease – was illegal.

However, even three years after the issue was raised, the State government is debating whether the matter is legal or not.

At the same time, it continues to wonder whether any action can be taken, after one of the companies accused of raising contracts cited a judgment of the Odisha High Court.

In illegal storage and transportation, the State government has collected Rs 6.18 crore as penalty – a paltry sum when compared to the the nearly 3.5 million tonnes of iron ore that was illegally mined according to statistics provided by Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.

Several officials Deccan Herald spoke to said they were wary of the visit by the CEC members this week, and that they would submit a more consequential report on the action taken by the government.

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