CEC facilitating mining: Hiremath

CEC facilitating mining: Hiremath

Samaj Parivartana Samudaya on Monday alleged that the Supreme Court-constituted Central Empowered Committee (CEC) had erred by recommending that sixteen ‘A’ category companies be allowed to restart mining operations in the State.

Addressing reporters, founder-president of the Samudaya, S R Hiremath, said a majority of these companies were involved in large-scale irregularities in mining. “It is a big question how and why the CEC took a U-turn on the issue, brought these companies under the category ‘A’ and recommended grant of permission to them to resume mining.

The environmental panel seems to have become a mining-facilitating panel,” he said adding that he had submitted all documents pertaining to the alleged irregularities committed by these companies to the Supreme Court.

Hiremath said one of the ‘A’ category companies was R Praveen Chandra Mine in Chitradurga. The CEC had, in its report dated April 20, 2012, stated that the company had made two payments amounting to Rs 6 crore to the kin of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa as quid pro quo for the sanction of the mining lease and recommended that the mining operations there should be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

“It is inconceivable that a mining lease allegedly fraudulently acquired can be recommended for possible resumption of mining. Categorisation of mining leases has been made on the basis of encroachments. Those who have not encroached have been kept in category ‘A’. But this ignores the fact that those in category ‘A’ have committed other serious illegalities and crimes in an environment of lawlessness that prevailed in Karnataka and hence do not deserve to be re-opened,” he said.

‘Remove Reddy’

He also demanded that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar take immediate steps to remove G Somashekara Reddy as the KMF chairman in view of his alleged involvement in illegal mining. “Reddy is deeply involved in irregularities connected to Associated Mining Company owned by jailed former minister G Janardhana Reddy. Moreover, he is also involved in the cash-for-bail scandal,” Hiremath said.

The State government should order an independent and transparent investigation into the alleged fodder scam in the KMF, he said.

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