He will hold talks with eminent persons to check the menace
In a bid to further tighten the screws on illegal mining, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Wednesday announced that he would form a committee to put a complete end to the activity, besides commencing consultations with intellectuals, writers, journalists, religious heads and economists on stopping the loot of the State's mineral wealth.
Speaking to presspersons in his chambers in the Vidhana Soudha, Mr. Yeddyurappa said he would begin the consultation process by holding a meeting with senior journalists on Thursday.
He would also form a committee to crack the whip on illegal mining. The committee would incorporate the suggestions received during the consultation with intellectuals, writers, religious heads and journalists, he said.
To talk to Gowda
“I will also seek suggestions from former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda and former Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy over phone on the steps to be taken to prevent illegal mining,” he said.
The Chief Minister reiterated that the government would not provide permit for export of iron ore from July 28 and that steps had been taken at all the 10 ports in the State to prevent that.
The government would suspend the permits for transport of iron ore through trucks from the mining area, he said. A notification in this regard would be issued in a day or two.
The Chief Minister expressed confidence that these measures would go a long way in checking illegal mining. Mr. Yeddyurappa took exception to the opposition of the Congress leaders to the suspension of transport permit on the grounds that it would affect those into legal mining. “My priority is to ensure that the State's mineral wealth is not looted,” he said.
This showed that the Congress leaders were not committed to preventing illegal mining, the Chief Minister said and accused them of being into illegal mining.
Asked if key officials in Bellary district would be transferred for their failure to check illegal mining, Mr. Yeddyurappa said: “Give me time… I am taking up things in a phased manner.”
The Chief Minister declared that he too would embark on a campaign to counter the padayatra of the Congress leaders.
“Let the Congress leaders complete their padayatra. I too will go to the people.” He said the nature of the campaign — whether it should be a padayatra or a rally — would be decided by the Bharatiya Janata Party. Ridiculing the Congress padayatra, he said: “They are not used to taking out padayatras. That is why they have aches and pain.”