SC panel wants Reddy's mining ban to continue

SC panel wants Reddy's mining ban to continue

SC panel wants Reddy's mining ban to continue

Waiting for demarcation.

The panel informed the SC on Thursday that the inter-state boundary should be ascertained before demarcating the areas of the six mines in the Anantpur-Bellary region. Three of the six iron ore mines in the region belong to the Reddys. It indicated discrepancies in mining sketches and suggested these be redrawn. The report will be heard by a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan on Friday.

 In its seven-page report, the team, headed by Survey of India Additional Surveyor General Major General A K Padha said: “Though the inter-state boundary between these states is already demarcated on latest SoI map, both governments have not agreed to this boundary.’’

The report continued that “both the governments have given mine leases on either side of the boundary as per their interpretation of inter-state boundary which is a matter of dispute,’’ seeking at the same time that directions be given to the Union Home Ministry and chief secretaries of the two states for facilitating demarcation of boundary. The report pointed out that some of the lease boundaries fell on the inter-state boundary and sought ban on mining activities in the region till demarcation work was over “for the smooth movement of the officials and staff”.

While referring to the 68.50 hectare mine of Obalapurma Mining Company Ltd (OMC), owned by the Reddy brothers, the report asserted: “The occupied area shifts about 100 to 150 m towards inter-state boundary, that is western side, and is going beyond inter-state boundary with respect to interstate boundary appearing on SoI map.’’

It was of the view that there were major discrepancies in mining sketches and that the sketches issued in the Bellary Reserve Forest Area will have to be re-drawn. The report also said that the lease sketch issued by the mining and geology department of AP and claimed by lessee as approved sketch has no reference point on ground or on sketch for fixation.

On the other two mines of OMC, the report said the lease sketch has no reference point on ground or sketch for fixation. Even on the mining lease of BIOP Company and Mahabaleswarappa & Sons, the panel said the lease area was found occupied and boundary pillars missing.