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State to urge HC to allow ban on export of iron ore

Special Correspondent

GULBARGA: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on Sunday took serious note of the observations made by the Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court hearing the petitions challenging the ban on export of iron ore imposed by the State Government.

Addressing presspersons here, the Chief Minister said that he would hold a meeting of senior officials in Bangalore on Monday over the remarks by Chief Justice of the High Court J.S. Khehar about the State's failure to prevent export of iron ore despite the ban and the failure to trace eight lakh tonnes of ore that went missing from the Belekeri port.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said that the Chief Secretary would be asked to file a report on the implementation of the decision to ban export of iron ore and identify the officials who helped mine owners to export iron ore despite the ban.

He said that the State Government would again appeal to the High Court to allow ban on export of iron ore for some more time so that illegal mining could be stopped effectively. “Lifting the ban on export of iron ore now will only help revive illegal mining,” he added.

Action

The Chief Minister said that either the Centre should take action to prevent the loot of mineral wealth or delegate powers to the State to deal with the issue. “At present, we don't have powers even to seize iron ore mined illegally or trucks that transport ore,” he added.

Seizure of iron ore from the VSL mines owned by Anil Lad, Congress MP, and Santosh Lad, MLA, in Bellary district proved the involvement of the Congress leaders in illegal mining. Apart from this, the ore seized by the Lokayukta in February 2009 was found during the raid on Saturday, Mr. Yeddyurappa said.

Reiterating his demand for a nation-wide ban on export of iron ore, Mr. Yeddyurappa defended the decision of the State Government for effectively ending the menace of illegal mining.

Nationalisation

The Chief Minister said that he was for nationalisation of mines to end the menace of illegal mining.

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