Illegal iron ore loot in Karnataka valued at Rs 12.58 crore

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Illegal Mining
Bangalore, Aug 1: At least 12.58 crore metric tonnes (MT) of iron ore was exported illegally to 228 recipients from Chennai, Kakinada, Belekari, Krishnapatnam, Karwar, Vishakapatnam and New Mangalore ports between the years 2006-2010.

The exportation from Panaji and Murmagao ports are not included in this. The illegally exported iron ore totalled to 3 crore metric tonnes approx. There was a unclearness with respect to the exact terminus to particular ports for 32,44,219 metric tonnes of iron ore.

The figure of 1,27,99,396 MT has been so far recorded as the highest quantity of exports of illegal iron ore in the year 2009-2010.

Between 2010-2011, when the permits for exporting illegal iron ore was issued for four months, the amount of iron ore was 48,06,719 MT approx, which was higher than the export of iron ore in the years 2006-2007, 2007-2008 and equalled to exports in 2008-2009.

The data suggests that the exports of illegal iron ore continued despite the raids by the Lokyaukta in Feb 2010 at Belekari. The loss was caused to the government because of the illegal export that is estimated to be at least 1,22,28,14,22,854. The report also suggested that the revenue loss to government should be extracted from the suppliers/exporters/lessees/traders. Also actions against the responsible person/firms/others/companies should be taken under the relevant rules and acts.

At least 252 exporters were involved in exporting of iron ore from Karnataka during the time period from all the ports. The port-wise inspection of illegal exportations, also saw that illegal iron ore was exported more from Krishnapatnam and Belekeri ports, both (ports)run by private companies.

Despite a ban on the issuing of permits for exportations since Jul 28, 2010, there were at least 83 exports with a total quantity of 17,58,336 MT of iron ore. The maximum exports took place from Krishnapatnam port, administered and managed by Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited, a private company. The amount of iron ore exported from here amounts to 14,85,076 MT.

The report suggested that there be further probe on finding the people behind it and the illegalities.

The Lokayukta report also said that the culprits responsible for exporting illegal iron ore need to be identified and the loss should be recovered from those companies and people involved.

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