‘We have been asked to conduct a detailed probe on the nature of the violations and the possible involvement of the officials in the scam’

The Task Force of the Mines and Geology Department has finally decided to crack the whip on illegal quarrying on the outskirts of the city.

This decision comes after the visit of Upalokayukta Subhash B. Adi and Deputy Commissioner of Bangalore district G.C. Prakash with senior officials on Friday to Bettahalasur, Kannur and Mitaganahalli where illegal quarrying is rampant.

It is following these inspections that the Task Force of the Mines and Geology Department has said that it would conduct a detailed investigation and submit a report to the Lokayukta for further action.

Chidananda, a senior official of the Mines and Geology Department, who was part of the inspection team to the quarries on Friday, admitted that there were large-scale violations but refused to comment on why the department had failed to notice it despite repeated complaints from the village residents over the years.

“We have been asked to conduct a detailed probe on the nature of the violations and the possible involvement of the officials in the scam,” he said.

According to him, quarry owners would seek permission to establish a quarry, but would start it without getting a formal nod from the authorities concerned.

The quarry owners obtained power supply to run their machinery and licences to transport stones in fleets of trucks every day. Bescom, Pollution Control Board and transport officials, besides police, have simply looked the other way while the illegalities continued, sources added.

Taking strong objection to this, Mr. Adi directed Mr. Prakash to file a detailed report in this regard. “I have been asked to seek explanation from the officials of the department concerned to ascertain the action taken by them so far,” Mr. Prakash told The Hindu.

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