Illegal quarrying has caused loss to the tune of Rs. 5,000 crore: Nanaiah

Illegal granite quarrying in Kanakapura, allegedly involving a prominent political leader, surfaced in the Legislative Council with Janata Dal (Secular) floor leader M.C. Nanaiah demanding a CBI probe into the episode.

Tabling a call-attention notice, Mr. Nanaiah alleged that the illegal red granite quarrying in Kanakapura had resulted in a loss of about Rs. 5,000 crore.

He expressed dissatisfaction over Forest Minister C.P. Yogeshwar — who had launched a media war against a political leader accusing him of indulging in illegal quarrying — not giving any information in this regard in his reply to the call-attention notice.

“It gives an impression that you lack courage to take on what you had earlier described as Republic of Kanakapura,” Mr. Nanaiah said. Responding to this, the Minister said he would make a detailed reply to the House after consulting Chief Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda.

Meanwhile, leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council Motamma demanded that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa withdraw the petition filed in the Supreme Court that farmers of Karnataka Cauvery basin should be restricted from taking up summer crop cultivation. “Ms. Jayalalithaa is from this State and now when we are facing a severe crisis, she should not act so harshly,” Ms. Motamma said.

She urged the government not to buckle under pressure from Tamil Nadu and to protect the interests of the State farmers. Mr. Nanaiah suggested that Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda should soon take an all-party delegation to Delhi to seek Centre's intervention in resolving the Cauvery issue and also to convince it to release special assistance to tackle the drought situation.