Tapal Ganesh, mine-owner who has been fighting against illegal mining, has expressed shock over the Yeddyurappa government recommending to Union Government to give clearance to the N. Rathnaiah mines at Vitlapur village in Sandur taluk on the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Mr. Ganesh said that several complaints of illegal mining by N. Rathnaiah mines had been filed by Tapal Narayan Reddy, an adjacent lessee, before the authorities concerned.

The clearance reportedly given by the Government to the proposal without proper inquiry is intriguing and smacks of corruption, he said and added that the Chief Minister owed an explanation in this matter.

He has accused the officials concerned, including those of the Department of Forest, of not following the readings of the global positioning system (GPS) mentioned in the sketches at the time of applying for lease, while clearing the proposals.

He blamed the officials for not conducting proper inspection of the mining areas and for turning a blind eye to the facts owing to pressure from local Ministers.

He said that it was this negligence on the part of authorities concerned that had paved way for large-scale illegal mining.

Mr. Ganesh said that he would immediately bring these lapses to the notice of the State Government, Lokayukta and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and seek suitable action against illegal mining.

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