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NGO News – NGO seeks probe into mining since 2000

Bellary, May 19, 2012, DHNS :

Samaja Parivartana Samudaya, the NGO fighting illegal mining in the State, has decided to file another public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking a comprehensive probe into illegal mining in the State since 2000.

Addressing the media here on Saturday, S R Hiremath of the NGO said there was no political agenda in the move.

The apex court will be urged to order a thorough investigation into illegal mining during the period extending from S M Krishna’s reign to B S Yeddyurappa’s tenure as chief ministers.

He also noted that there was rampant illegal mining in the Thimmappana Gudi mines in Hospet taluk in the district. Vijayanagar Minerals conducts mining in the region for the government-owned Mysore Minerals and JSW Mining Group, Toranagal.

Improper sharing of fines and lumps in the mines have resulted in loss to the State government, which also needs to be probed, he said.

Moreover, Hiremath alleged that Yeddyurappa received kickbacks from JSW to continue the contract entered into by the Mysore Minerals and the JSW Mining Group. In this regard the Supreme Court has ordered a CBI probe.

Purchase of ore at a paltry rate by former minister D K Shivakumar too needs to be probed. The Congress leader was able to buy ore in his brother’s name with the assistance of officers in the Mysore Minerals, he added.

People’s movement

Highlighting the importance of people’s movements, Hiremath said people alone can protect the natural resources through their sustained struggle.

Elaborating on the Supreme Court directive, he said rehabilitation and revival of forest land in Sandur taluk, that was ravaged by illegal mining, will have to be taken up by fine collected from errant mining companies.

Stating that appointment of ‘tainted’ officers in Bellary district by former chief minister Yeddyurappa too amounted to corruption, he said.

Two such officers are now in CBI custody. Action needs to be taken against former deputy commissioner B Shivappa and police officer Seemanthakumar Singh, he said.

Source: Deccan Herald