Staff Reporter

ANANTAPUR: The Andhra Pradesh Geo-Spatial Data Centre (APGDC), Hyderabad, a wing of the Survey of India, will take up a survey of five mining leases in Obulapuram village limits in D. Hirehal mandal in the district from July 20 to 30.

In a letter, dated July 14, to the Director of Mines and Geology and Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of the State government, district Collector and Superintendent of Police of Anantapur, Director of APGDC Swarna Subba Rao stated that a survey of the five mining leases will be taken up from July 20 to 30 on violation of Forest (Conservation) Act by the Divisional Forest Officer, Anantapur. The issue of survey of the five mining leases over the violation of Forest (Conservation) Act by the DFO, Anantapur, in connivance with Obulapuram Mining Company belonging to a section of the iron-ore mining lobby of Karnataka led by three Ministers of that State, G. Janardhan Reddy, G. Karunakar Reddy and B. Sriramulu, is in the news since April this year. The brother-duo of Janardhan Reddy and Karunakar Reddy are considered to be very close to Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. The duo is promoting Brahmani Industries Limited, a major steel company in Kadapa district, in which their close associate K. Ramachandra Reddy, who also happens to be legislator of Rayadurg in Anantapur, is the Joint Managing Director.

The Union Ministry of Environments and Forests directed the State government in April this year to suspend the mining leases including the mining activity of five companies – Obulapuram Mining Company (two leases), Bellary Iron Ore Private Ltd, Y. Mahabaleshwarappa and Sons and Anantapur Mining Corporation – till complete demarcation of the boundaries of the mining leases and provision of safety zones.

However, the survey has been getting postponed due to various reasons including the intervention of the State government, which wrote to the Centre suggesting there was no necessity of a fresh survey as a survey was conducted in the past and the boundaries and safety zones of the mining leases were very much intact.