This comes less than 24 hours after 49 iron ore-laden lorries were confiscated
Less than 24 hours after seizing 49 lorries transporting iron ore from BMC, a firm with which the Reddy brothers are said to be closely associated, the district authorities on Sunday seized 7,448 tonnes of iron ore being transported in two rakes (each rake comprises 58 wagons) in violation of the July 29 Supreme Court order suspending mining and transportation of iron ore from Bellary district.
Based on credible information that iron ore was being illegally transported in the rakes, the authorities swung into action and seized one rake transporting 3,724 tonnes of ore at Hagari railway station siding in Bellary taluk and another rake with the same tonnage at Toranagal in Sandur taluk.
In addition, the authorities seized 1,000 tonnes of ore unloaded at the JSW Steel Ltd. premises that was transported by road from Mysore Minerals Ltd. with which JSW Steel Ltd. has entered into a joint venture.
At Hagari, the iron ore purchased by Janaki Steels in Sidiginamola from Fomento company in Sandur taluk was loaded onto the train at Yeshwant Nagar loading point. The ore had to be unloaded at the Hagari station siding from where it had to be further transported to the Janaki steel unit by road.
At Toranagal the ore was loaded on the Fomento company premises and was being taken to JSW Steel Ltd.
Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas told The Hindu that verification of the permit issued by the Forest Department revealed that the rake stopped at Hagari was loaded at 10 p.m. on July 30. He turned down the claim of the steel unit that loading was completed on July 29 itself stating he would go by the documents.
“Transportation of ore, even with a valid permit, is illegal in the wake of the Supreme Court order which came into effect from the evening of July 29,” he said.
On Saturday night, 49 lorries transporting iron ore from BMC to Cantonment station siding without permit were seized near Allipur on the outskirts of the city. Mr. Biswas said that so far no one had come to claim the ore seized near Allipur.
To a question, he said he would conduct an inquiry into Forest Department officials issuing permits for transporting iron ore even after the Supreme Court order, and submit a report recommending action for dereliction of duty.
Vigil to be stepped up
He said vigil would be stepped up to check movement of iron ore mined in Bellary district.
Two additional check-posts would be set up at strategic points.
“The Supreme Court's order is limited to Bellary district. However, iron ore mined in Chitradurga and Tumkur districts is also transported through the district. Vigilance staff will verify documents to ensure that the ore being transported is from outside Bellary district before allowing it to pass through the district,” he said, and added that he had sought details of permits given to mining companies in those two districts for transporting the ore.
Mr. Biswas also said railway authorities had been informed about the Supreme Court order and had been instructed not to transport iron ore mined in Bellary district.
Sashidhar Bagli, Bellary tahsildar, Babu Kolekar, Deputy Superintendent of Police (Bellary Rural), and S.S. Hullur, Circle Inspector of Police, were among other senior officers present.