Staff Correspondent

`They frustrated my efforts and stood by those carrying on illegal mining'

TUMKUR: Janata Dal (Secular) MLA from Turuvekere in Tumkur district M.T. Krishnappa has criticised his party-led coalition Government in the State for "failing to control the officials".

Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, Mr. Krishnappa said illegal mining was rampant in Gubbi, Chikknayakanahalli, Tiptur and Turuvekere taluks of Tumkur district. He said: "I opened my eyes only after the people of Turuvekere gheraoed me on January 10 and showed me around a vast stretch of coconut palms destroyed by the pollution caused by mining." Since then, he said, he had camped at Turuvekere and tried to stop illegal mining.

However, the police, officials of the departments of Revenue, Road Transport, and Mines and Geology, and those of the Pollution Control Board, did not cooperate with him, he alleged. "Instead, the officials frustrated my efforts and stood by those carrying on illegal mining in the area," he said.

He said: "I am surprised at the Dandinashivara police station officer writing (bypassing his superiors) to other departments and a junior official of the Mines and Geology replying to it. All this is done to save the persons involved in illegal mining."

Mr. Krishnappa said he brought this to the notice of the Deputy Commissioner and the Superintendent of Police. "I have written to the Chief Secretary and to the Director-General and Inspector-General of Police. I am still to know if the two have taken any action," he said.

"When I contacted them over phone, the officials pleaded that the law did not permit them to act in matters concerning mining. I do not agree with them. Rules under the air and pollution control Acts enable them to take action against those causing pollution," Mr. Krishnappa said.

To a question, he said: "Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy has many tasks to attend to. So also C. Chennigappa, Minister for Forests, who is in charge of the district. I can only charge the Government with failure to control the officials."