PM sore over illegal mining in Karnataka

“The PM has expressed his concern regarding illegal mining in Karnataka during a meeting of National Board for Wildlife held on Thursday”, Ramesh told newsmen on Saturday.

“My ministry would take all legal steps to stop illegal mining iron ore and bauxite mining in Karnataka”, said Jairam.

It was learnt that in the meeting chaired by the Prime Minister, some members raised the issue of unbridled illegal mining in Karnataka and the state  government’s recent decision of allowing mining in Western Ghat areas. Reacting to this, the PM said the issue was also brought to his knowledge and he was equally concerned about this development. 

“During discussion, the PM also directed his principal secretary to take necessary steps to prevent plundering of national wealth”, sources said.

It may be noted that the Centre had received a number of complaints about widespread illegal mining in Karnataka, particularly in Bellary district. A task force constituted by the Union Ministry of Mines comprising officials of Indian Bureau of Mines has also found that eight mining companies have indulged in illegal mining in Bellary district and recommended the State Government to suspend of mining licenses of six companies. 

The Karnataka Government’s latest cabinet decision of dereserve forest areas in Bellary district and some parts of Western Ghats for mining purpose, has received flak from the Centre. Ramesh has already expressed his concern over the decision and announced to send a high-level official team to study about the diversion of forest for non-forestry activities.

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