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Mining scam - Mr HDK charges are completely baseless

Mining News - Published on Fri, 19 Jan 2018

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On Wednesday, while refuting allegations made by the former Chief Minster, Mr HD Kumaraswamy of the State government’s involvement in illegal mining activities worth INR 5,450 crore, Mines and Geology Minister Vinay Kulkarni admitted that there were “erroneous entries” made on records on production of iron ore at the mining excavation sites of Mysore Minerals Ltd.

However, he dismissed the charges of Mr Kumaraswamy as completely baseless. Last week, Mr Kumaraswamy, while referring to an internal probe conducted by the MML had accused higher officials working in the CM’s office of being involved in illegal mining activities.

Mr Kulkarni said that “The Supreme Court had directed MML to mine 30 lakh MT of iron ore at Subbrayanahalli and 10.60 lakh MT of iron ore at Thimmappanagudi. In November 2014, MML had issued the work order. However, the contractor of MML did not meet the set target as per the contractual agreement between November 2014 and March 2017. After getting to know about the shortfall in the production, I myself wrote a letter to the MD of MML to impose penalty as per the contract agreement. The MD then formed an internal committee and it had submitted a preliminary report. Mr Kumaraswamy sourced the report and made the accusation by misinterpreting the reports.”

The Minister said the preliminary report submitted by the committee does indicate arbitrariness in registering production of iron ore in “Kachha books”. However, he maintained that these are not valid records. He added that after processing of iron ore through e-auction, it is sold and transported, which is recorded and is a valid document. The Minister said that “Mr Kumaraswamy misinterpreted figures shown in the preliminary report and mislead people for political gain as elections are nearing.”

He further added that “Mr Kumaraswamy had charged that INR 5,450 crore worth iron ore was illegally transported between 2014-15 and 2016 -17. That comes to 60.57 lakh MT of iron ore. To transport such quantity, every day 2,000 trips need to be undertaken, with help of 400 trucks. It is not even possible to produce such magnitude of iron ore in our mines.”

Mr Kulkarni said that an IAS officer is now investigating the entire issue and action will be initiated against erring officials.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 19 Jan 2018
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