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Vinay Kulkarni denies JD(S) charge on illegal iron ore mining

Prime News, State, (Bengaluru), January 18:-Karnataka Minister for Mining and Geology Vinay Kulkarni on Wednesday rejected allegations of Janata Dal Secular-JD(S) State President H D Kumaraswamy who had charged that the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government had indulged in illegal iron ore mining scam.

The former Chief Minister and JD(S) leader had alleged that more than Rs 5450 crore worth iron ore is being illegally lifted and transported by the state-owned Mysore Minerals Limited (MML) between 2014 and 2017 at Sandur in Ballari district.

Speaking to reporters here, Kulkarni said the allegations were baseless.

MML had two mines in Subbarayanahalli and Thimmappana Gundi and had given lease to three companies to lift 40 lakh metric tonnes per annum. But the companies had lifted only 60 lakh metric tonnes.

In such a situation how can Kumaraswamy’s allegation that 1.8 crore mt was lifted, he questioned. The Minister said that he had pulled up the companies for producing less iron ore than the quantum fixed by the government as per the lease deed through a letter. This followed an internal inquiry by MML. Kumarswamy had got his hands on the copy of this inquiry report and claiming that he had evidence of the illegal mining scam which is far from truth, the Minister said.

Kulkarni said as per Kumaraswamy’s claims to transport 1.8 crore mt of iron ore it needs 2000 tippers per month at the rate of removing a tipper load every 83 seconds. It was an impossible task and this showed that the allegation did not hold water.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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