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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

De Beers India allotted 2,000 sq. km. land

Special Correspondent

Permit to mining major for prospecting diamonds, precious stones, gold, copper, zinc, etc for 3 years


Land situated in Mahabubnagar district adjoining Nallamala forest

Mining Minister says no violation of rules in allotting permit to company


HYDERABAD: The State Government has quietly granted “reconnaissance permit” (RP) and allotted a large extent of 2,000 sq. km. land in Mahabubnagar district adjoining Nallamala reserve forest to the South African mining major De Beers Private Limited. The permit was issued in November 2010 for prospecting activity in diamonds, precious stones, gold, copper, lead, zinc, etc for a period of three years.

Three orders, issued by the Mines & Geology Department within a space of one week in November last, through which the land was allotted, state that the reconnaissance permit had been granted “as per the prior approval of the Union Government” as under Section 5 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act 1957 as these minerals figure in the Schedule I dealt by the Centre.

Permit justified

When the issue was broached at a press conference here on Monday, Forest Minister P. Ramachandra Reddy justified the reconnaissance permit on the ground that the prescribed procedure had been followed meticulously. On verification, it was found that 90 per cent of the area allotted was revenue land and not reserve forest land as alleged. Doubts lingered only about the remaining 10 per cent land.

His department would order an aerial survey and prepare maps to ascertain how much extent out of the 2,000 sq km belonged to the reserve forest belt.

If any part of the allotted land fell within the wildlife sanctuary as alleged, the reconnaissance permit would be scrapped.

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