Mining & Industries Minister K T Rama Rao today cancelled the leases of 477 mines for 2017-18 across the State for alleged irregularities and asked for filing criminal cases against those involved in the scam.
The minister held a meeting with the officials concerned and directed them to file criminal cases against those involved. On finding irregularities and violations in several districts, KTR got serious and instructed the officials to take stringent steps against those involved. The officials, who visited the districts, have found irregularities and violations at 79 places out of 354 inspections conducted in Warangal, Hyderabad and Nizamabad districts.
The official team should not spare anyone against the irregularities, he said and asked them to make use of technology in mining activity and protect ecological balance. Besides using rock sand, the officials should take immediate steps for using the sand for the ongoing developmental works taken up by various departments, he said. He also said the TSIMDC officials should think whether they can form rock sand clusters in the places under its purview. “This sand can be used in construction activities under irrigation and Roads & Buildings departments.
The minister said Bayyaram Steel Plant will be started soon and will make a visit to Delhi to meet with Union Mining minister for the purpose. He also said the Mines department has reached its goal of getting better income despite some irregularities, which will be prevented. The minister favoured geo fencing, geo tagging, use of satellite pictures and drones for the sand mining to ensure that only legal mining takes place. “Soon we will bring first of its kind Mining Policy in the State and bring in a new law that will be ideal at national level. Leasing of the mines and sand reaches should be done through e-auction at international level against national level”, he said.
The minister expressed satisfaction at the income got through the sand mining. He said the Mines department achieved 110 per cent of income by getting Rs 3,500-crore income of minerals earned by February last as against the target of Rs 3,166 crore. The State exchequer received 139 per cent sand mining income of Rs 538 crore as against Rs 388 crore target. (NSS)