Officer's statement on resuming mining slammed

Officer's statement on resuming mining slammed

The National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR) has condemned the statement made by Mines and Geology department Director Srinivasa H R that mining would resume shortly at eight mines in the State.

Addressing the media on Thursday, S R Hiremath, founder-president, NCPNR, said the statement made by Srinivasa on Wednesday was misleading and that there was a Supreme Court stay dated March 11, 2011, against resumption of any such mining.

“Mining is banned in the two-km radius of Jambukanatheswara temple in Sandur taluk of Bellary district, as blasting had done irreparable damage to the temple,” he said.
His organisation has also petitioned the apex court by filing an interlocutory application seeking a ban on the eight firms and cancelling their mining permits.

Noting that statements like these mislead people, Hiremath urged Srinivasa not to show undue haste to help mining companies, which have been involved in serious irregularities. He also accused the State government of not having initiated any action against the officials whose names figure in the report submitted by then Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde.

Hiremath said the State government has buckled under pressure and re-posted tainted officers transferred from Bellary. While noting the CBI has taken action against two officers –– DCF Muttaiah and Deputy Director of Mines and Geology S P Raju––he said the State must support the investigating agency in arresting the then DC of Bellary Shivappa and then SP of Bellary Seemant Kumar Singh.

He alleged that former minister Gali Janardhana Reddy operated from jail to get bail and many MLAs’ and government officers helped him. He, therefore, demanded the government to initiate strict action against MLA G Somashekara Reddy, who he alleged was the ‘kingpin’ behind the ‘cash for bail’ scam.

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