'HDK violated norms in granting mining lease'

'HDK violated norms in granting mining lease'

At a press conference, Puttaswamy said on October 6, 2007, two days prior to demitting his office, Kumaraswamy had allotted 550 acres of land in Jog, Thimmappagudi, Bhavihalli, NEB Range, Sandur taluk in Bellary district violating Mineral Concession (Second Amendment) Rules (MCR).  “The government can only recommend to the Union government after making public notification and receiving applications,” he said.

Releasing copies of documents in support of his allegations, Puttaswamy said 96 sq miles of NEB range in Sandur was notified as reserve area, of which 23.23 sq miles were de-reserved and allocated for mining.

“The remaining 72.77 sq mile area was notified and applications were called for allocation. Of which, 820 acres were granted to Chougle and Company. It has been declared ‘held up’ after the company returned it,” he said.

A portion of the land (133 acres), Puttaswamy said, was leased out to a mining company and 29 applications were pending for the remaining blocks.

Though the Department of Mines and Geology recommended allocation of mining lease of the remaining 72.77 sq miles, Additional Secretary, Mines and Geology (M&G) placed the file before the chief minister with a note that the Centre has written to the State not to send proposals seeking relaxation under Rule 59 (2) of MCR.

The lease was granted in favour of SSVM ignoring the suggestion of the Additional Secretary, Department of Mines and Geology against the grant of lease citing several litigations in various court.

Puttaswamy further alleged that before granting the lease, the name of Vinod Goel was included in the lease deed, which was not mentioned in the primary application and the lessee (the company) challenged it in  the High Court.

After the High Court directed deletion of the name of Goel from the mining lease awarded to the firm in 2007, the matter was challenged before the Supreme Court by Goel.

He said that another mining lease has also been granted to Goel through Janthakal Enterprises. He said the company’s lease had expired 20 years ago.