Congress government has failed to take effective and decisive action: Hiremath

The National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR) and like-minded environmental forums, including the Jana Sangram Parishat (JSP), which are fighting against illegal mining, on Tuesday urged Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to act firmly against those involved in illegal mining and fulfil promises made by the Congress before it came to power.

Recalling the promise of action made by Mr. Siddaramaiah in the run-up to the 2013 Assembly polls, S.R. Hiremath, founder-president of the Samaj Parivarthan Samudaya (SPS), lamented that the Congress government failed to take “effective and decisive” action against those who “looted natural resources incurring huge loss to the State exchequer”.

He urged the government to take legal (criminal and civil) action against the lease-holders of ‘C’ category mines and force them to comply with rehabilitation and reclamation (R&R) work as directed by the Supreme Court in addition to recovering the cost of illegally mined and transported ore.

Mr. Hiremath also sought absolute power for the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed under Lokayukta to look into illegal mining in the State.

Expressing displeasure over the manner in which the government dealt with corporate bodies, he said action should be initiated against corporate houses that had caused huge financial losses to the government.

“Though the charges against those companies have been proved by the Lokayukta and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), there is an inordinate delay in acting against them,” he claimed.

Criticising the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) for pursuing the cause of lease-holders, especially those belonging to Category ‘C’, who had allegedly committed irregularities, he exhorted the government to initiate legal action against them.

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