Centre ready for CBI probe into mining

Centre ready for CBI probe into mining


In a letter to the Karnataka Government, Union Minister of Mines, B K Handique, said if the State required the services of the CBI to probe the irregularities, all it had to do was to inform the ministry. “The ministry will do the needful”, he  said.

The ministry has also asked the State Government to submit an Action Taken Report on the findings of the Lokayukta, on the irregularities in the mining sector in Karnataka. The Lokayukta has reportedly made severe allegations against the Reddy brothers –– G Janardhana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy –– mine owners and ministers in Karnataka.
“Strong and purposeful action at the field level is absolutely imperative in the larger interest of the nation. I look forward to your cooperation,” Handique said.

The Centre is keen to investigate the complaints against Obulapuram Mining Company owned by the Reddys, which is involved in mining activities in disputed area on the Andhra Pradesh-Karnataka border,  sources in the ministry told Deccan Herald.
The ministry has taken serious note of the large scale violations of norms, obstruction of government officials from performing their duties and collusion of official machinery with mining companies in Karnataka.

But, irrespective of the Lokayukta report,  the Karnataka Government has not brought this issue before the Centre. Nor has any report been submitted in this regard, sources said.
It is the duty of the state government to monitor the activities of the lease holders, though  the mining leases are given by the Ministry of Mines.  “It would be necessary to investigate the complaints in general and the findings of the Lokayukta in particular, by a SIT so that the culprits are brought to book immediately,” one official said.

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