Miners make hay as govts look other way

Miners make hay as govts look other way

Mineboggling: State, AP drag their feet on joint report on inter-state boundary dispute

The controversial Oblapuram Mining Company (OMC), owned by the Bellary trio of the BJP, is located in this boundary area. It is alleged that the OMC, with a mining lease from Andhra Pradesh, has encroached upon mines located in Karnataka by destroying the inter-state boundary.

However, the Reddy brothers have flatly rejected the allegations and have in turn claimed that their mining leases have been encroached upon by other mines located in the disputed boundary area. As many as eight mining leases are located in the disputed boundary area.

The Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) in its interim report submitted to the apex court on Friday said that a number of iron ore mines are operating in the areas adjoining the disputed inter-state boundary. To prevent illegal mining, transportation and disputes among various lease holders, it is imperative that the inter-state boundary passing through Bellary Reserve Forests is determined and laid on the ground immediately.

“A joint team comprising officers from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have already determined and mutually agreed on the location of the inter-state boundary. The location has been laid by them on satellite imageries of the Bellary Reserve Forest and a number of permanent reference points have been identified. The states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh should immediately take formal decision in the matter and determine the boundary on the map as well as on the ground,” the report stated.

Secretariat sources said neither of the states has evinced interest in resolving the issue by holding meetings. Decisions on such a sensitive issue should be taken at the level of chief ministers. After all, demarcation of three to four kilometres have to be decided by the two states. If give and take policy is adopted, then the issue could be resolved, sources said.

Between 1985 and 1990, only a couple of meetings were held between the two states. When Karnataka could resolve its boundary dispute with Maharashtra, why should the dispute with Andhra Pradesh remain, sources questioned.
Joint team

The joint team constituted following a Supreme Court directive to determine the inter-state boundary submitted its report to both the governments last December.

But the report has been gathering dust. The team had six members, represented by three officials from both governments.

It had identified 46 coordinates along the disputed boundary and agreed upon them. It had identified six villages on the Karnataka side and four villages on the Andhra Pradesh side, sources said.


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