Special Correspondent

Anantapur Assistant Director of Mines and Geology suspended

HYDERABAD: In a significant development, the State government on Sunday night directed the Director of Mines and Geology V.D. Raja Gopal to proceed on leave from Monday.

The Government also placed under suspension S. Sai Ram Singh, Assistant Director of Mines and Geology, Anantapur, for issuing permits without following the procedure and referring the matter to the government.

The government late on Sunday issued a GO sanctioning 30 days earned leave to Mr. Raja Gopal from March 22 to April 20 (both days inclusive) for his second son's engagement. In his place, the Government placed B. R. V. Susheel Kumar, Joint Director of Mines and Geology, Hyderabad, in full additional charge of the post of Director of Mines and Geology.

However, official sources maintained that the Director may have been asked to go on leave after an anonymous advertisement was inserted in newspapers on Saturday wishing M. Veerabhadraiah, Principal Secretary, Mines and Geology, all the best in post retired life. Mr. Veerabhadraiah will be retiring from service on March 31.

Taking serious exception to the advertisements, Mr. Veerabhadraiah complained to the Chief Secretary S.V.Prasad and DGP R.R. Girish Kumar about the advertisement. He had claimed that none of his friends or well wishers had inserted the advertisement.

It is understood that Government suspected the involvement of some officials in the entire episode. Enquiries however revealed that powerful mining lobby had issued the advertisement.

In a related development, the State Government placed under suspension S. Sai Ram Singh who in undue haste issued dispatch permits to M/s. Obulapuram Mining Company (Pvt.) Limited and M/s Ananthapur Mining Corporation, which have six mining leases without referring the matter to the government as required.

He did not report about the resumption of mining activity and transportation of mined mineral immediately, even while the Government decided to file a Special Leave Petition before the apex court seeking legal remedy against the orders of the High Court of AP in public interest.

The Government mentioned that the commissions and omissions of Mr. Singh resulted in countering the swift action taken and efforts made by the Government to obtain orders from the Apex Court in the SLP filed by it on March 11 in respect of all the six mines in public interest.