'Missing' ore: Forest dept blames port officials

Illegally stocked ore was seized from the port during a raid on the port on March 15. The operation was led by District Forest Officer Gokul. The quantity of the ore seized was estimated to be 50,000 MT.

“However, port officials informed during our visit on March 20 that there was 1.15 lakh MT of ore,” Additional Conservator of Forests, Mohan Kanagila, told Deccan Herald on Tuesday.
Some days later, the port officials wrote to Forest Department saying that documents were available for 65,500 MT of seized ore and hence permission had been granted for export of that much quantity. However, the court was informed that the permission should not have been granted while the investigation was still on.

Meanwhile, during a recent, only 14,500 MT of ore was found at the port and the officials were unable to furnish convincing reply for the balance quantity of 35,500 MT. “Hence a complaint of ore theft has been registered,” the ACF said.

It is being said that the port officials allowed  exporters to lift the ore on July 3 and there are also allegations of officials’ involvement in the scam. The port officials, on their part, are saying that the Forest Department had not given the seized ore to their possession.
DH News Service

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