Illegal stone quarrying in Mandya: ZP Member fined Rs.11 crore
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Illegal stone quarrying in Mandya: ZP Member fined Rs.11 crore

March 14, 2020

Mandya: In a major crackdown on illegal stone quarrying, the Department of Mines and Geology has penalised a Zilla Panchayat (ZP) Member from K.R. Pet taluk in Mandya district a whopping sum of Rs.11,05,46,205, perhaps the heaviest fine imposed in recent years for mining violations. The ZP Member has also been served a notice on impoundment of his quarry licence.

Following a complaint by social activist K.R. Ravindra and some members of the public, accusing JD(S) leader and Mandya ZP Member from K.R. Pet taluk, H.T. Manju, of carrying out illegal stone quarrying at various places in K.R. Pet taluk, the Mines and Geology Department  inspected the spots and found the allegations to be true.

As Manju has been found to be carrying out illegal stone quarrying, the Department has imposed a heavy penalty of Rs.11.05 crore on him, giving him some time for payment of penalty.

The Department has also served Manju a notice seeking an explanation on his quarrying activities and impoundment of his quarrying licence for unauthorised quarrying. The Department’s senior Geologist Pushpalatha has submitted a detailed report in this regard to Pandavapura Assistant Commissioner on Feb.28.

Details

JD(S) leader and ZP Member, H.T. Manju, had obtained a licence in the name of T.J. Stone Crushers for carrying out stone quarrying at different places in K.R. Pet taluk. But Manju has been accused of carrying out unauthorised quarrying in areas outside the licensed spaces  and had also failed to pay Royalty to the Government.

Manju had got sanction for carrying out quarrying in 0.2 acre area in Survey No.10 of Shivapura village in K.R. Pet taluk. But he violated the mining license norms by carrying out quarrying in an area close to Hemavathi canal, located westward from his sanctioned  space, by using explosives.

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Manju had also secured a 20-year contract on Mar.22, 2007 for carrying out stone quarrying in 2 acre area coming under Survey No.46 of Bommanahalli village. But following complaints of illegal quarrying, the Mines and Geology Department conducted a Drone Survey, during which it was found that 1,44,311.81 Metric Tonnes (MT) of stone was quarried in licensed space, while 2,15,402 MT of stone was quarried in unlicensed area.

Later, the Department penalised Manju Rs.3,14,26,800 for carrying out excess mining to the tune of 1,04,756 MT in licensed area and Rs.6,46,20,600 for mining 2,15,402 MT in outside the licensed area.

The Department also discovered rampant violation of mining norms at other places in  Shivapura, Haralahalli and Bommanahalli. Subsequently, the Department has asked Manju to pay a fine of Rs.10,07,050 for illegal quarrying in forest area coming under Survey No.46 at Bommanahalli, Rs.49,88,400 for unauthorised mining in Survey No.22 of Haralahalli village, Rs.19,49,100 for illegal stone mining of 6,497 MT at Shivapura Gomaala and Rs.55,00,200 for illegal stone mining of 18,334 MT in another area coming under the same Survey number at Shivapura, with the total penalty amounting to a whopping Rs.11,05,46,205.

Meanwhile, senior Geologist Pushpalatha said that H.T. Manju has been served with a notice asking him to pay the calculated penalty for violation of various quarrying license norms and he has been given time to remit the penalty. The Department will initiate legal proceedings against Manju if he fails to pay the penalty within the given time, she  pointed out.

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