Special 24×7 teams formed to track mining activities at Baby Betta in Mandya district
Mysuru/ Hassan: Hours after Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa directing the State officials to crackdown on illegal mining activities following a blast in Shivamogga killing six persons, the Internal Security Division has seized a huge cache of explosives at a village near Hassan.
Apart from Pandavapura in Mandya district where mining is rampant, Hassan too is the epicentre of illegal mining where rocks worth several crores are being quarried on in the rocky hills spread over several villages of Hassan and Holenarasipura taluks, without passing through Government checks.
In the raids conducted by the Internal Security Division, a total of 1,250 gelatine sticks, two detonators, a megger tester, two bundles of zinc wires and large amounts of ammonium nitrate were recovered.
The place is owned by one Manjegowda of Indrapuri village, in Hassan’s Gorur Police Station limits. The explosives were stored in rooms constructed in the land. A team of Internal Security Division raided the place and seized the explosives from his place.
According to the Police, Manjegowda was running a quarry in Hassan district and now he is into supplying of explosive substances illegally to quarry owners across Karnataka. He is on the run and a dragnet has been spread to arrest him, the Police said.
Gorur Police have taken up case under provisions of Explosive Substances Act 1908. As per the provisions under the Act, storage and possession of explosives is illegal. Internal Security Division Southern Range Dy.SP Prabhakar Rao Shinde led the raids and Inspector Gopalakrishna, Sub-Inspector Krishnappa, Head Constables Mohan, Gangegowda, Constables Santhosh, Kannan, Jayanna and drivers Somashekar and Shivaprakash participated.
Total ban in Baby Betta
In a related development, Mandya Assistant Commissioner B.C. Shivanandamurthy has clarified that mining has been banned in Baby Betta in Pandavapura taluk and several other mines and quarries have been restrained from carrying out their activities.
There are 21 crushers and one stone quarry at Baby Betta that have been permitted to mine but now in the wake of Government directives, all mining activities have been stopped, he said. Those mine crusher owners who have got permits must re-submit the old permits and other documents including compliance report to Mandya DC and re-secure permission.
The DC has the final authority in deciding which companies must be permitted to carry out mining activities, Shivanandamurthy added. Activities have been stopped even at legal and permitted crushers as there is no information on how they are sourcing raw materials including explosives to blast the stones.
The Assistant Commissioner revealed that two exclusive teams have been formed to track any legal or illegal mining activities in Baby Betta and its surrounding areas and the teams will be doing surveillance 24×7.
REPORT ILLEGAL MINING TO THESE NUMBERS
|Tahsildar Pramod L. Patil||70223-86586|
|Mines and Geology Scientist Pushpa||81520-72000|
|Mining Officer Natashekar||78925-20614|