Special Correspondent

‘Huge amounts of iron ore seized in Bellary’

Government has served notices on several mining contractors; 51 mining licences cancelled

Authorities seize illegally stored iron ore from

61 stockyards

Bangalore: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Tuesday informed the Legislative Assembly that the Government had taken action on the Karnataka Lokayukta report on mining and seized several tonnes of illegally stored iron ore in Bellary district.

In a reply to A. Manju of the Congress in the Legislative Assembly during Question Hour, Mr. Yeddyurappa said the Lokayukta report had identified illegal mining in several places and the Government had served notices on several mining contractors and cancelled 51 mining licences. Authorities had seized illegally stored iron ore from 61 stock yards, he said.

After the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power last year, the Government had not sanctioned any mining licences, he said. Out of the total of 177 mining contracts in the State, 103 were active and 74 were defunct. Mr. Yeddyurappa said 20 licences had been sanctioned during the last three years.

A few miners had filed writ petitions before the Karnataka High Court and obtained permission to resume mining in 23 cases. Several applications had been received seeking permission to open value addition industries in the mining areas of Bellary, Tumkur, Chitradruga, Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Bijapur, Mandya, Dharwad, Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada and Hassan districts, the Chief Minister said.

Authority

The Government will constitute a Sri Male Mahadeshwara Temple Development Authority for all-round development of the temple located in Chamarajanagar district, he said.

In a reply to H.S. Mahadeva Prasad of the Congress, Home Minister V.S. Acharya told the Assembly that a Bill would be tabled in the House soon for constituting the authority.

Dharna

Members of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) staged a dharna before the Deputy Speaker seeking repair of a bridge at Hirehalla in Koppal district and construction of a bypass road.

Karadi Sanganna of the JD(S) said that National Highway 63 had been damaged in the district by the frequent movement of trucks transporting iron ore. They asked the Government to release funds for repairing the bridge as well as the bypass road.

Minister for Public Works C.M. Udasi said that the Centre had sanctioned Rs. 114.53 lakh for the construction of a diversion road for the bridge at Hirehalla.

The department had submitted a proposal to the Union Surface Transport Ministry seeking funds for construction of the permanent bridge.

Dissatisfied with the reply, JD(S) and Congress members rushed into the well of the house and demanded a reply from the Chief Minister.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the Government would invite tenders soon for construction of the bridge and developing the 60-km damaged road in the district.

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