Karnataka to act against illegal miners

Belgaum (Karnataka), Nov 26 : The Karnataka government will soon initiate criminal proceedings against 51 firms found guilty of flouting mining and forest laws by the Lokayukta who investigated the multi-crore scam from 2006-10, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Tuesday.

"Legal action will be taken after the Lokayuktha police completed the investigation," Siddaramaiah told Jagadish Shettar of the BJP in the assembly.

The state legislature is holding its 10-day winter session in this town in the northern region of the state, about 500 km from Bangalore.

The state government has cancelled the licenses of the 51 mining firms on a Supreme Court directive after they were blacklisted by the Lokayukta for illegally mining iron ore in Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts across the state.

"We have also set up a committee to collect penalty from the mining firms, which violated the norms in maintenance of pits and dumps. No firm will be spared and we are cooperating with the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), which is probing the scam," Siddaramaiah said.

A four-member committee was set up Oct 1 under the chairmanship of the state mines and geology department director to estimate the losses caused to the state exchequer due to illegal mining by the tainted firms.

--IANS (Posted on 26-11-2013)

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