Karimnagar: Sleuths of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) have started making enquires about the performance and functioning of the mines and geology department.
Though over 300 quarries were shut down due to crisis following declining exports, the factories are in operation, raising questions of many. So, the state government decided to focus on the alleged deficiencies and misdeeds of the department.
The granite industry was flourishing in the district, thanks to availability of tan brown, the most-sought after variety exported to China and many other countries. The district was earning over Rs 150 crore per annum until 2013-14 fiscal. Due to slump in the Chinese market, over 300 quarries were closed down in the past two years. Consequently, the revenue plummeted to Rs 95 crore in 2015-16 financial years.
Despite this the performance of the factories has not been affected, leading to questions from all sides. They have been undertaking the cutting and polishing of granite, making huge profits. Therefore, the government wanted to know the true story behind this.
Accordingly, a 16-member team of ACB has begun inspecting offices of the department in order to figure out how the factories are functioning even as the sector is reeling under crisis due to dip in exports.
“The team is finding out the reason for closing down of quarries and the drastic decline in the annual income of the department. They are probing into every stage of the industry right from quarrying granite to selling it in the market. A comprehensive report will be drafted and the same will be submitted to the government,” said an official involved in the inspections.
The teams are likely to quiz the managements of the factories. Usually, factories carry out cutting of large granite blocks, quarried from licensed quarries. Although, over 300 quarries were closed down following fall in exports, how come these factories are able to continue their business This has to be investigated, stated a source.