Chief Minister's response to the plea for an inquiry not proper, says Naidu

An all-party delegation led by TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu on Sunday called on Chief Minister K. Rosaiah seeking cancellation of operations in the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) and other mines in D. Hirehal mandal of Anantapur district.

Apart from Mr. Naidu, the delegation comprising CPI(M) State secretary B. V. Raghavulu, CPI State secretary K. Narayana and Lok Satta Party president N. Jayaprakash Narayan, demanded a survey by the Survey of India to fix the borders between two adjoining areas, villages and lease-holders and finalise encroachments, if any.

The leaders wanted the files relating to sanction of lease, licences/permits issued to OMC to be placed before the Assembly Speaker so that all parties could access them. Mr. Naidu told Mr. Rosaiah that an inquiry committee with all-India service officers belonging to the related departments - mines, forests, vigilance, revenue, Survey of India, industries, income tax, customs and commercial tax - should be appointed.

They wanted the investigating agencies to track the real beneficiaries behind Red Gold Company, which was bestowed with a share by OMC. They demanded prosecution of all those who had violated the Forest Act and other statutes of both Central and State governments.

‘Review leases’

The delegation wanted review of mining leases in the State and introduction of competitive bidding. It urged the Centre to consider a policy change for nationalisation of mining and new policy of competitive bidding.

Mr. Naidu later told reporters that the Chief Minister's response to the plea for an inquiry was not proper. "We are not going to keep quiet till the lease of OMC is cancelled." He pointed out that Mr. Rosaiah had told the delegation that he needed time to study the issue. "How much time will the government take to respond to the allegations," he wondered.

Mr. Narayana said the ball was pushed into the Chief Minister's court. It was for him to initiate action. Mr. Raghavulu wanted a complete halt to exploitation of mineral resources. Mr. Narayana sought a CBI inquiry.