KARNATAKA

Officials emphasise need to fix inter-State boundary

Staff Correspondent

BELLARY: Officials from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, during a meeting with the officials from the Survey of India (SoI), headed by Major General A.K. Padha held here on Wednesday, underlined the need for fixing the inter-State boundary adjoining Bellary and Anantapur districts, that had remained unresolved for long.

The officials from Andhra Pradesh were the first to submit a request to the SoI in this regard on Tuesday and the officials of the State followed suit on Wednesday, it is learnt.

Following directions from the Supreme Court Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice Deepak Verma, a team of officials from SoI, are here to undertake the survey of the six mining leases granted in the Bellary Reserve Forest area of Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, to verify the allegations of large-scale encroachments by the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), owned by Karnataka Ministers G. Janardhan Reddy, G. Karunakara Reddy and B. Sriramulu.

Since March 27, the officials have been holding closed-door meetings with the officials of both the States and collecting all the required details, including maps, sketches, and also from the lessees of the six mining companies as part of the survey work.

Though the inter-State boundary, after a joint survey by the officials of the respective States, was fixed in the year 1991 it was not agreed upon and the dispute remaining unresolved.

Till today no steps were taken to finalise the inter-State boundary, even after allegations that the tri-junction point (where three villages — Tumti, Vitalapur of Sandur taluk in Bellary district and Malpanagudi of Rayadurga taluk, Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh) was destroyed and valuable mineral wealth, belonging to the State, was being mined illegally.

The officials of the two States thought it fit to make best use of the presence of officials of SoI to survey the mining leases adjacent to the inter-State boundary, and get the dispute settled permanently.