Chief Minister begins public consultations
Commencing his first round of public consultations on the steps to be taken to tackle illegal mining, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Thursday made it clear that the recent measures taken by his government against illegal mining was the beginning of a stern and uncompromising drive against an activity that had depleted the State's mineral and ecological resource base. He was addressing senior media representatives in Bangalore on Thursday.
Mr. Yeddyurappa said that the two most recent steps that his government had taken, namely the ban on iron ore exports from ten ports under the State's control with effect from July 26, and the decision to suspend all transport permits for ore-carrying lorries, would effectively freeze illegal mining. The steps would be in place until the Lokayukta presents his updated report on illegal mining in the State. When reminded that his measures would be challenged in the courts, Mr. Yeddyurappa drew attention to the endorsement given by the Karnataka High Court on the powers of the State to ban the export of ore. “There is no other solution,” he said. “The Lokayukta has been given more powers. I will not protect anybody to save my chair,” he added.
The Chief Minister was clear that his most recent drive against illegal mining had the full backing of the party central leadership. . “Without the support of my high command, I cannot remain as Chief Minister even for a minute,” he said.
The Chief Minister asked his detractors to present concrete evidence, if any, of illegal mining involving the Bellary Ministers before the Lokayukta. Mr. Yeddyurappa said he would tone up administration across the State to effectively implement the drive against illegal mining.
Keywords: illegal mining