The approved sketches of the mining lease of the Reddy brothers in the Obulapuram mines in the reserve forest areas bordering Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are at variance with the old sketches available in records, according to a Survey of India (SoI) report.
By a May 10 order, the Supreme Court allowed the Reddy brothers to start mining in the undisputed area “which neither falls in Karnataka nor abuts the Karnataka boundary.” It did not permit mining in those areas which, according to the base map, “fall within their lease area but may be falling in the leased areas of other leases.” The court directed the SoI to put up a temporary fence at Karnataka border as per the base map and granted it two months to complete the process of demarcation.
In its fresh report submitted to the court on Friday in the “Reddy brothers mining lease case, the SoI said: “All the lease sketches of Bellary Iron Ore Mines Pvt Ltd from its inception submitted to the Composite Survey Committee have been perused. It is found that the latest renewed sketch though some what similar to the previously issued sketches, it is not exactly the same. Internal angles/bearings and distances appearing on the latest renewed approved mining lease sketch are at variance with those appearing on old sketches.”
The report deals with the delineation/demarcation of the inter-State boundary and the mining lease boundary, and temporary fencing on the Karnataka border in the relevant area. “During the demarcation of the boundary in the Bellary reserve forest, minor variation at three places was marked by the Bellary Collector, which was not accepted by the Anantapur Collector in Andhra Pradesh, who accepted the boundary shown by the SoI.” Due to this reason, though the inter-State boundary was treated as demarcated and accordingly published by the SoI in a topo sheet, technically it remained unauthenticated.
The report pointed out that though Karnataka nominated six officials, they could not give any decision on the inter-State boundary. This was the third time Karnataka officers reported to the committee to decide the boundary. The report wanted a court direction to the Chief Secretaries of the two States that they give consent for the SoI 1975 boundary; otherwise, the SoI said, it would not be possible to resolve the mining lease/boundary dispute within the stipulated time. It also wanted a direction to the States to provide mutually agreed inter-State boundary data.
State/Central authorities should be asked to supply revised lease sketches for completing the demarcation of the boundaries of mine leases. After the receipt of the same, demarcation work would be completed in one month, the report said.
On Friday, a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia indicated that the matter would be taken up along with other mining cases but did not give any specific date for hearing. .