Karnataka threatens to launch legal battle on mining issue

Last Updated: Friday, September 3, 2010 - 14:15

Bangalore: Attacking the Centre for its
apathy on the issue of banning iron ore exports, Karnataka
Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Friday threatened to launch a
legal battle over the issue.

"Why is the Centre sitting silent. Why has it not
acted to check illegal mining and illegal export of iron ore
in the country, particularly in mineral rich states where the
menace is rampant", he asked as he came under fresh attack
from Congress, which accused him of granting new mining
licences.

"I will go to the Supreme Court. I will fight a legal
battle", said Yeddyurappa, whose government has come under
fire from the Congress and JDS over illegal mining issue.

State ministers and mining magnets Janardhana Reddy and
Karunakara Reddy, both brothers, and their close associate
Sriramalu have specifically come under opposition attack.

"Why is the Centre insisting on exports. What action has
it taken to check illegal export. Why are your hands tied. Who
is behind this?, Yeddyurappa asked after former opposition
Congress leader in the legislative council V S Ugrappa called
him a "liar" and charged him with granting mining licenses.

Yeddyurappa, however, brushed aside the allegations as
"politically motivated" and asserted that he had recommended
issuing of mining licences in respect of two cases, that too
only for value addition.

The Centre did not grant mining licence to Central PSU
Visveswaraya Iron and Steel Ltd, located in his home district
Shimoga and to Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd, Yeddyurappa
said and alleged it was because these firms cannot offer
"anything", unlike others.

Yeddyurappa appealed to the Centre to permit him to
ban exports for an year.

He again charged that it was Congress and JDS leaders
who were involved in illegal mining and illegal exports and
the on-going Lokayukta probe would "bare it all".

Yeddyurappa said he was ready to appoint another Upa
Lokayukta within 15 days to assist the Lokayukta in the
illegal mining probe and equip the institution with additional
staff.

He said CID had already filed cases against 58
companies for alleged mysterious disappearance of five lakh
tons of iron ore from Belekere port and arrested the Port
Conservator Mahesh Biliye in this connection.

"Who are these companies. Let Congress leaders come out
with their names", Yeddyurappa dared.

Ugrappa had two days ago accused Yeddyurappa of sanctioning
17 fresh mining licences and demanded his resignation.

Yeddyurappa released a list of firms recommended to the
Centre for granting of mining licence by previous Congress and
JDS governments.

PTI



First Published: Friday, September 3, 2010 - 14:15

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