Hedge to write to Centre, AP on illegal export of iron ore

According to his information, about 8.5 lakh tonnes of iron ore made "a mysterious" disappearance from the Belekere Port in Karwar in Karnataka, he told reporters here.

There have been allegations that besides Belekere port, iron ore was exported illegally from Vishakapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh.

The Yeddyurappa government yesterday referred illegal export of minerals, including iron ore, from 2000 till date to Lokayukta probe, after the Opposition stepped up their campaign and demanded a CBI probe into the issue.

The Opposition accused the ministers-cum-mining magnets Reddy brothers -- G Janardhana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy -- of involvement in the alleged multi-crore scam.

The Lokayukta probe would also bring under scanner the "raising contract" that has been prevalent in illegal mining, Hedge said.

Under the raising contract, a person is permitted to carry out mining activity on behalf of the mining lease holder.

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