Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj today said he concurred with the findings of the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on illegal mining being rampant in Karnataka.
“Is there any doubt about it,” he said in reply to a reporter’s query at the airport here on the CEC report, which listed Karnataka as being “number one” in illegal mining.
To another question, Mr. Bhardwaj, en route to Belgaum to attend a function, said though he was vocal about large-scale illegal mining in the State when he first came in as governor, he could not comment on it now “since the matter is between the Supreme Court and the State government”.
Asked if he had received a copy of the first report on illegal mining that Lokayukta had submitted to the government, he said “including the Lokyukta report, I have not received any information till date on the matter by the government”.
On April 15, the Supreme Court-appointed CEC had found large-scale illegal mining in Karnataka, particularly in Bellary forest region, in connivance with officials and politicians, after which the apex court sought a response from the State government.
The CEC’s report over mining in Bellary region in 2003 and 2010 said the government had failed to act against massive illegal mining which continued in 2009-10, despite a report by State Lokayukta.
Bellary region assumes importance because of the business of powerful mining magnates and politicians Reddy brothers in the area.