State government is willing to grant fresh mining leases: Siddaramaiah

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said that the State government is in the process of finalising the modalities for auctioning the iron ore mines classified as ‘C’ category. The leases to these mines were cancelled on the directions of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), appointed by the Supreme Court, on account of large-scale illegal mining.

“The Cabinet has already decided to cancel the lease of all the 51 mines placed under category ‘C’ by the CEC as per the directions of the Supreme Court, and in tune with the order, we have decided to auction these mines. We will be chalking out the modalities as to whether the auction should be limited to a certain number of years, apart from the conditions on the quantum of extraction of ore. A final decision is yet to be taken,” Mr. Siddaramaiah said.

The Chief Minister was here to attend the Hampi Utsav, a three-day mega cultural festival in Hampi, and spoke to presspersons at the media centre set up behind the main stage.

Transparency

To a question, he said the State government is willing to grant fresh mining leases within the framework of the law and in a transparent manner.

Krishna waters

On the stand of the State government on the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal award, Mr. Siddaramaiah reiterated that the State government has been consulting State’s counsel Fali S. Nariman, and also the technical and legal teams in this regard. “The Opposition has expressed its apprehensions, and there was advice from the legal and technical team. We are constantly in consultation with all concerned, including the Opposition, legal and technical experts, and we will announce our stand,” he said. When it was pointed out to Mr. Siddarmaiah that it was for the first time that entry fee was being collected at the book exhibition in the Hampi Utsav, he said he would instruct officials concerned to withdraw it immediately, besides relaxing the restrictions to ensure that people can come to the utsav in large numbers.

Ministers R.V. Deshpande, P.T. Parameshwar Naik, Umashree; and legislators Anil Lad, B.M. Nagaraj, Bheema Nayak and E. Tukaram, were present.

More In: Karnataka | National