ANANTAPUR: The ongoing process of fixing borders between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka at Anantapur and Bellary districts is erupting into a major controversy as some mining owners are raising a serious objection.
It should be noted that iron ore is richly present in the specific area and speculation is rife that pressures are being mounted by representatives from BJP-led Karnataka. A group of mining owners is against the present survey, which is ‘ignoring the earlier genuine reports’.
The Union Government was conducting a survey to fix borders between Bellary and Anantapur district forest lands following a 15-year dispute after borders were destroyed by mining companies. Illegal mining of 29 lakh tonnes of rich quality iron ore from the reserved forests had caused considerable damage to the border areas.
It should be recalled that there was a dispute between two mining companies- OMC (Obulapuram Mining Company) and BIOP (Bellary Iron Ore Private Ltd.,) over their limits and leased areas and a big scam of illicit mining of rich ore. OMC mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy has been facing restriction of entry into Anantapur and Bellary districts in connection with cases against him.
Further, a legal dispute arose between both the state governments over fixing of borders as the mining companies destroyed decades old survey stones and borders. The Centre’s survey teams had expedited the process in order to settle the issue. The parameters being used for the present survey are being objected to by other mining companies as the surveyors are considering Bellary Reserve Forest Map-1896 as primary map instead of considering revenue maps.
Tapal Ganesh, a mining company owner, observed that the present system to fix the border pillars was not genuine. He observed that the mineral and non-mineral zones were also not differentiated in the survey.
Anantapur joint collector Nisanth Kumar and revenue officials from the district inspected the ongoing survey between Obulapuram and H Siddapuram....