New Delhi: Amid reports that the Karnataka
was not taking concrete action against illegal miners, the
Centre has asked the state government to employ CBI`s service
to tackle the menace.
Union Mines Minister B K Handique yesterday shot-off a
letter to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, the third
since November 2009, on illegal mining.
"I would therefore reiterate my earlier offer for Central
Government assistance in investigation into the various
incidents of illegal mining, including the one recently
reported in the media," the letter said.
"For these purposes, central agencies, such as Central
Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are also available and their
expertise can be effectively utilised," Handique said.
He said media reports on theft and export of iron ore "in
utter disregard for the law of the land shows that the illegal
mining mafia in Karnataka needs to be tackled without any
further delay in order to avoid a complete breakdown in the
regulatory system at field level in your government".
Recently, certain media reports had highlighted the state
government`s inability to check illegal mining, its
transportation and exports.
The Union government had written to the state in March
this year and November 2008, offering services of its
investigating agencies to check such malpractices.
"The Central Government is not only concerned about the
matter in terms of the poor enforcement of the Mines and
Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and rules
"and the fact that such reports create very unfavorable
investment conditions in the sector, but also because these
developments are likely to halve multi-sectoral ramifications
with regard to the quality of governance," Handique wrote in
the latest letter.
Handique had last month said that in the face of the
Karnataka government`s resistance to a CBI probe, the matter
was referred to the Cabinet and was even discussed in the
Prime Minister`s office and there were concerns over flow of
money from such mining to terrorists.
Handique`s insistence on a probe and action in Karnataka
comes against the backdrop of allegations of illegal mining by
the Reddy brothers--G Janardhana Reddy and G Karunakara Reddy,
who are ministers in the state government.
The Centre is working on a new mining legislation which
would have provisions to check the menace of illegal mining.
Karnataka is one of the mineral rich states in India with
estimated reserves of about 9,000 million tonnes or 11 per
cent of the country`s hematite iron ore deposits.