Hubli-Illegal mining: Plea to hasten probe

HUBLI: Environmentalists have urged the central government to speed up the CBI inquiry into illegal mining in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources president S R Hiremath and A S Salanki of Jan Vikas Andolan told reporters here on Saturday that money from illegal mining had led to corruption and power politics.

“There is an immediate need to curb illegal mining by ending the nexus between politicians, officials and miners,” Hiremath said.

Investigating agencies should also look into allegations of tax evasions and violations under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

“The inquiry into illegal mining by several companies, including the Obalapuram Mining Company and Bellary Iron Ore Private Ltd, began well but it stopped because of a stay order issued by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra and the Union governments should work towards vacating the stay,” Salanki said.

Hiremath said they would urge the seven-member multi-disciplinary team constituted by Andhra Pradesh government to expedite survey of the mines and the inter-state border. “We will also urge Karnataka CM to join this initiative,” Hiremath said.

From TOI

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