Minister dismisses charges of illegal quarrying around KRS dam

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Bengaluru, Jul 11 (PTI) Karnataka Mining and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani on Sunday dismissed the allegation that illegal quarrying was continuing near Krishnaraja Sagar dam in Mandya district.

'There has been absolutely no illegal quarrying activity within the 15-km radius of KRS dam in the past three months,' he said in a statement.

His reaction came as the war of words over illegal quarrying around the dam intensified between Mandya independent MP Sumalatha Ambareesh and former chief minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy.

The Minister said he had earlier visited the spot after receiving reports of illegal mining, convened a meeting with officials,including Mandya Deputy Commissioner, Superintendent of Police, MP and local MLA following complaints.

'The government has issued 38 mining leases in the 15-km radius of KRS dam and it was decided in the meeting to cancel all the leases for violating rules and operating without clearance from the ecological department,' Nirani said.

Our senior officials had conducted a joint survey two days ago and denied illegal quarrying was going on in the past three months with documentary evidence,' he said Reacting to Sumalathas repeated charges that illegal quarrying was going on, he said officials had conducted a survey and submitted a report, with video and documentary evidence, which said no such activity was going on.

the Minister said if Sumalatha could produce any documents related to illegal mining, then the government will take action.

Nirani requested Kumaraswamy and Sumalatha to end the spat and said such mudslinging by politicians would spoil the atmosphere in the region and discourage investors from making investments, thereby affecting unemployed youth.

On Sunday, Sumalatha once again vowed to intensify her agitation, saying she has waged a war on illegal mining in and around the KRS Dam.

She also appealed to her supporters to tread on the path shown by her actor-turned-politician husband late Ambareesh.

Sumalatha alleged that the safety of the KRS dam is at stake due to the illegal mining around its area. PTI GMS APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR

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