As per the directions of the Supreme Court, a team of officials, led by Swarana Subbarao, Surveyor-General of India, commenced the work on fixing the inter-State boundary between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, passing through the Bellary Reserve Forest.
As a first step in this direction, Dr. Subbarao — along with Srinivas, Shamshuddin and Umesh all Deputy Directors of Survey and Land Records of Karnataka; and Jhansi Rani, Regional Deputy Director, Bhaskar and Devadas, Deputy Directors of Survey and Land Records of Andhra Pradesh — traversed a vast stretch of land in Bellary Reserve Forest to inspect the existing boundary stones between the villages of Siddapuram, Malapanagudi and Obulapuram. The process will continue for a few more days as inspection has to be carried out along the other existing boundary pillars, between Vannalli, Belagal, Tumti and Vittalpur.
“We are here to fix the inter-State boundary between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as per the directions of the Supreme Court. The process has begun. We have already verified the maps and have undertaken a field survey to find out existing pillars. After that, we will compile the findings on the ground with the maps and records. Another survey team will then visit the area to carry out a few other processes to identify the boundary, after which the pillars will be fixed. The entire process may take about four weeks and we want it to be completed by May,” he told presspersons.
To a question, he said village maps and all other available documentary evidence would be used.
“I am given to understand that a few boundary stones have been missing, and my job is to refix them to demarcate the inter-State boundary,” he said.
It may be mentioned here that the boundary dispute between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh has been pending for over five decades.
The efforts made earlier by both the States to demarcate the boundary proved to be futile as they did not agree with the outcome of the surveys conducted. Meanwhile, due to large-scale mining activities in the Bellary forest area, some of the pillars were destroyed.
The Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), owned by jailed mining baron G. Janardhan Reddy, is accused of destroying the tri-junction point between Tumti, Vittalpur and Malapanagudi and plundering natural mineral resources belonging to the State.
A case against OMC is still pending in Sandur court. The Lokayukta report on illegal mining mentions that tonnes of iron ore were looted. The Central Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the illegal mining by the OMC, has also found evidence in this regard.
The Supreme Court, in its order on the writ petition filed by Samaj Parivartan Samudaya, directed the Survey of India to re-survey the boundary.