Illegal mining continues unabated in Karnataka | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Illegal mining continues unabated in several districts of the state despite protests by the public following blasts in Shivamogga and Chikkaballapur districts that killed over a dozen people. The involvement of wealthy persons, vested interests of a section of local population and political patronage have nixed any measures taken by the state government to check it.
Political parties often trade allegations on this issue, but many persons from major political parties have a stake in mining, claim sources in the public works department and mining department.
Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh, on a recent two-day tour of Mandya, was shocked to see illegal mines in the district despite numerous raids and penalties after she raised the issue in Parliament. She promised to raise it once again. “Mining is being done even though licences have expired. The government doesn’t receive royalty. People allege that illegal mining continues unabated,’’ she said.
Illegal mining, however, is not restricted to Mandya district. All 31 districts of the state have illegal mines, mainly sand and stone, officials claim. People who take on offenders are disappointed at the lack of support from police and district administration. A resident of Ramanagara district went to a local police station two months ago and urged cops to stop illegal mining near his village. He alleged that a police official expressed helplessness, saying operators were backed by influential politicians.
A senior police officer in Kodagu, a haven for illegal sand mining along the banks of Cauvery’s tributaries, admitted they have occasionally cracked down on illegal mining and detained a few persons. But, they had to back off following calls by politicians to release them.
RTI activist BM Shiva Kumar, who often raises the issue of illegal mining, said the quantity of sand and stone extracted is much more than the permitted amount. “Legal mining in a small portion of the district is a smokescreen for illegal operators,’’ he added.
PWD, mining, revenue and police officials are aware of illegal mining but unable to end it due to political patronage, he claimed.
Though the department of mines under minister Murugesh Nirani stepped up enforcement after the second blast, that drive is missing now. Chief minister BS Yediyurappa had vowed to rein in illegal mining by regularising them but there hasn’t been much progress on that front.
Advertisement





Source link

Advertisement

Sagar Biswas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *