Bangalore: Disputing the BJP government`s
claims, Lokayukta Santosh Hegde on Wednesday insisted that illegal
mining and illegal export of iron ore were still going on in
"Illegal mining and illegal exports are still on.
Earlier it was going through West Coast and now it is being
carried through East Coast," Hegde said at a function here.
Asked to comment on the claims by Chief Minister B S
Yeddyurappa that he has banned exports and checked illegal
mining, Hegde retorted, "Illegal mining and illegal exports
are still going on. Six crore people have been fooled."
He would submit the final report on illegal mining
this month end, Hegde said at a function where he released a
documentary on bears of Bellary sanctuary affected by mining
"Essentially, earlier exports were done from Mangalore
port, Karwar, Bilikere and Goa. There are some restrictions
now from these areas. But iron ore is going now through Hagari
border, via Andhra Pradesh, Vizag, Kakinada and
Krishnapatnam," he said.
Hegde said it was he who had suggested ban on iron ore
export in his report submitted to the state government in
December 2008 as the royalty earned from it was meagre
compared to the profits made by mining owners.
While mines owners paid Rs 27 per ton of 64 FE grade
and Rs 17 for lower grade iron ore, they sold it for Rs 5,000
to Rs 6,000 per ton, he said.