Mandya: Accusing Mandya MP C.S. Puttaraju of mining illegally in forest area, Social Activist K.R. Ravindra has lodged a complaint against the MP and 11 others with the Lokayukta.
While the complaint has been lodged against MP Puttaraju and his brother C. Ashok, a Zilla Panchayat member, for illegal mining in forest area, the names of Deputy Commissioner (DC) S. Ziaulla, Superintendent of Police (SP) C.H. Sudhir Kumar Reddy, ZP CEO B. Sharath, Mines and Geology Department Geologist K.M. Nagabhushan, Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) S. Dhananjay, Pandavapura Range Forest Officer (RFO) M.N. Munikrishna, Nagamangala Sub-Division Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) Puttaswamy, Pandavapura Tahsildar D. Hanumantharayappa, Pandavapura Assistant Commissioner B.C. Shivanandamurthy and department officers and staff has been mentioned in the complaint.
Ravindra has stated that illegal mining is being carried out in 2016.02 acres at Amruth Mahal Kaval Survey No. 1 in Pandavapura taluk (1487.27 acre), Chinnakurali hobli, Chinnakurali village Survey No. 80 (228.06 acre of which 226.29 acre is notified as forest) and Honagahalli Survey No. 127 (301.26 acre of which 256.26 acre is notified as forest).
Though the Government has declared Amruth Mahal Kaval as forest area, the Mines and Geology Department had given the land for mining. As per the order of the Deputy Commissioner on Oct. 31, 1995, Survey No. 80 in Chinnakurali is reserved as forest land, but the Chinnakurali Gram Panchayat (GP) and the Revenue Department have illegally given permission for mining, which is going on till now. Even the Honagahalli Gram Panchayat, without seeking permission from the Forest Department, has permitted illegal mining in the area.
How illegal mining began
When MP Puttaraju was the Zilla Panchayat President in 1994 and Pandavapura MLA in 2004 and 2008, his (Puttaraju) elder brother Chikkaramegowda was Chinnakurali GP President and later his son C. Ashok became the GP President. During this time, Ravindra alleged that they started ‘MSTJ Stone Crushers’ and also got approval from the Mines and Geology Department through political influence to take up mining activity in Amruth Mahal Kaval Survey No. 1 near Baby Betta in 10 acres on July 5, 2003 for 10 years and procured a stone mining contract on Nov. 11, 2003 on five acre and 20 guntas.
The Mines and Geology Department also gave permission to ‘STJ Stone Crushers’, owned by Chikkaramegowda’s other son C. Shivakumar for mining on three acres and 10 acres respectively on Apr. 30, 2007.
Ravindra said that in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, MP Puttaraju had declared that he and his wife had invested Rs. 19,87,711 in ‘STJ Stone Crushers’ and alleged that Puttaraju since two decades is involved in illegal mining in forest areas in Chinnakurali and Honaganahalli.
He said that the scam came to light as there was suspicion about officials of the Mines and Geology Department allotting mining in 15 acres to C. Ashok and ‘Brindavan Crushers’ on the same date with the same contract numbers 648 and 649, which led to suspicion. Later, to cover up the violation, the contract date and year were changed, he alleged.
Ravindra, in his complaint said that the illegal mining activities has caused a huge loss to the tune of Rs. 2,500 crore to the State Government and has urged for stringent action against those responsible for the loss.
When Star of Mysore tried to contact MP Puttaraju over phone, he was not available for comments.