August 12, 2008

State to Have Mining Policy

BELLARY: The government will soon come out with a mining policy to curb illegal mining activities, said tourism and infrastructure development minister G Janardhana Reddy.

Reddy, who is also in-charge minister of the district, spoke to reporters on the policy after addressing a meeting of the heads of various departments here on Saturday.

"Chief minister B S Yeddyurappa has decided to bring in a mining policy to tackle illegal mining across the state, which is posing threat to environment and ecology. Natural resources and minerals are the assets of the country and government would not allow it go overseas through the illegal mining channels," he said.

He said around 400 groups are active in illegal mining in Sandur- Hospet-Bellary forest belt and agriculture land. "A team of officials will be formed to check illegal mining . Stringent action will be taken against government officials who are connived with illegal miners," he said.

Reddy, who himself is a mining lord, said he is planning to set up a steel mill in Bellary district apart from his proposed steel industry in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.

Taking a dig at former CM H D Kumaraswamy, he said: "Kumaraswamy has lost moral right to speak on mining activities. The issue of nationalizing the mining is left to the Union government's discretion" .

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