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K’taka permits stone miners cooperative society to carry out mining

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Bengaluru, Feb 20 (IANS) Karnataka cabinet grants permission to carry out mining operations to the stone miners cooperative society as a one-time measure to help ailing society, Karnataka Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh R. Nirani said here on Saturday.

Nirani told reporters that this project was re-approved for the mining contract to the ailing society. “This mining project is expected to generate at least 5,000 direct and indirect employment in Tumkuru district,” he explained.

The minister added that the society had applied for a license to carry out mining operations in 1995 but it could not start its operations due to financial problems.

“The licence had lapsed and the society was struggling to get control over the mining area. This is a grey granite mining at Maddakkanahalli in Sira Taluk, Tumakuru District,” he said.

Nirani added that this proposal was pushed to the back burner for years and it was revived due to keen interest taken by Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa.

He added that the cabinet took the unanimous decision to approve the mining contract without auction under the provisions of the Karnataka Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1994, Rule 56 considering it as a special case with larger public interest.

He said that the initiative to approve mining sans auction on humanitarian basis as the society was not in a position to register itself due to the financial crisis.

The minister claimed that the society got a mining contract for five years in 1995 and later renewed for 20 years.

“As the society was in deep financial crisis and was unable to register itself within the mandatory four-month timeframe. When the society decided to register in December 2015, the sub-registrars refused to register it citing rules not permitting them,” he said.

Nirani added that the society later approached the government and applied for registration.

“The application was sent to Law Department seeking its opinion which in turn asked the Mines and Geology Department itself to take decision and opined that there would be no financial burden if the society was given the mining contract but the Principal Secretary (Mines) refused to grant contract saying there was no provision to approve with retrospective date,” he explained.

–IANS

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