Bellary: Companies denied permission to transport ore

Mines & Geology Department citing lame and irrelevant reasons

 An unwritten rule seems to have come into effect of late, for all mining companies in Bellary: Listen to the powers that be, or get set to face the wrath.

The State department of Mines and Geology department is alleged to be refusing to give permission to many mining companies, including MSPL, one of the largest mining companies, based in Hospet, whose annual turnover is over Rs 2,000 crore.
According to the MSPL officials, the company has not been allowed to transport ore from any of its mines for the last two months. As a result, ore worth about Rs 500 crore is lying idle, nearly 800 employees of the company are jobless and the company has suffered huge loss for failing to supply iron ore to customers, mainly from China, as per the agreement.

The Mines and Geology department has turned down MSPL’s innumerable applications seeking permission to transport ore from its Vyasankere Mines to Chennai, Bellikere and Mangalore.

The company has been seeking permission from April 2009. But the department has rejected all applications citing some ‘irrelevant’ and ‘lame’ reasons. The company has already paid royalty to the Government as stipulated in the rule book to transport ore.
In one of the strongly-worded letters dated May 27, the company has hit out at the Deputy Director of the department for not issuing permits.

“You (the Dy Director) are deliberately using delay tactics in issuing the permits by giving lame excuses. This certainly indicates that you are under the influence of some people in political power with vested interests who have a sole motive to harass us, by not issuing the permits,” the MSPL stated.

Pressure from ministers

Executive Director of MSPL Rahul N Baldota said, the department officials are denying oermission due to pressure from ‘powerful’ ministers from Bellary.

The company has the order to dispatch close to half a million tonne, which is approximately valued at Rs 500 crore. But the company is being denied permission.
“Despite the company following all norms as stipulated in the rule book, the department is refusing to give the permit... If this is the fate of the large mining company like us, I wonder what would be the plight of others,” he stated.

Instead of issuing permission, Mines and Geology department officials have advised the company representatives not to waste time visiting the department office and contact ‘mining lords’ to settle the matter. “We have been told that the so-called lords want us to share our profit with them. But why do we have to share our hard earned money, though we are strictly following all rules?,” the company’s PRO Raghavendra Rao asked.
The company had also lodged a complaint in this regard with Director of Mines and Geology, Chief Secretary and the Chief Minister, but for no avail.

When contacted, Assistant Director of Mines and Geology department D R Veeranna denied the company’s allegations. “There is no political pressure for not giving permission. The officials in Bellary might have refused to give the permit due to some technical reasons. If the company produces all details, as required, the permission will be given,” he stated.

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