Tuesday, 08 May 2012 10:46
The iron ore mined illegally by former Karnataka Minister Gali Janardhan Reddy-owned Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) was worth more than Rs.850 crore and the figure could go up further since investigation into lapses by OMC was continuing, the CBI told a court here on Monday.
Putting up a spirited argument against grant of bail to tainted illegal mining baron of Bellary , Janardhan Reddy, the investigating agency highlighted several concessions extended to the company during the Chief Ministership of Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. One of them which was detected more recently was the exemption from payment of royalty to the forest department for movement of iron ore.As a result, issue of permits by the department after payment of royalty was discontinued. The norm was restored after the death of YSR.
The CBI counsel Balla Ravindranath said OMC engaged two raising contractors in one of its lease areas though it was illegal. The contractors -- R.K. Mining and Vijaya Leasing -- did not carry out excavation in that mine but did so at other places in Karnataka.
He also said OMC excavated only 40,000 tonnes in AP out of 28.90 lakh tonnes of ore for which permits of transport were issued by mines department. The rest was procured from mines elsewhere. The entire stock was sent by OMC to various ports for export to foreign countries.
Mr. Janardhan Reddy, in return, secured foreign funds to set up Brahmani steel industry in Kadapa district.