Illegal mining: Rs 40.69 lakh fine slapped on MP

Illegal mining: Rs 40.69 lakh fine slapped on MP

 Lok Sabha member C S Puttaraju has been slapped a fine of Rs 40.69 lakh by the department of mines and geology as the charges of illegal mining activities at Bebi Betta forest range near Pandavapura stand proven.

Right to Information (RTI) activist K R Raveendra had recently lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta in Bengaluru, against STG Mining Company and other firms for illegal quarrying activities at Bebi Betta.

The STG company, in which MP Puttaraju is a shareholder, is owned by his nephew and zilla panchayat member C Ashok. The Lokayukta had directed the department of mines and geology to conduct a probe. After investigation, the department found the allegations of illegal quarrying to be true and senior scientist Nagabhushan levied a penalty of Rs 90.81 lakh on 18 people involved in illegal mining.

According to reports, STG company has been involved in illegal mining since May 6, 2013, and is found to have transported around 3,900 tonnes of stone. This is a clear violation as per the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1994.

Raveendra said the officials had shirked from their responsibility by just levying fine on the companies. The whole district administration and Puttaraju have been involved in illegal activities. As this is a serious crime, it must be handed over to CBI for a probe, he said. Puttaraju should resign as MP and face investigation, he demanded. Puttaraju was not available for comments.

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