BANGALORE: Forest Minister C P Yogeshwar on accused former minister and MLA D K Shivakumar of protecting illegal granite quarrying in Kanakapura district.
The granite lobby in Ramanagaram district has established a parallel government, he said, adding that he has been threatened of dire consequences if he dares to enter their territory.
Addressing newsmen here on Wednesday, the minister said that he detected illegal quarrying during his recent visit to a forest near Yaranatapanahalli village in Kanakapura taluk. Later, he received threatening calls from the illegal operators.
The minister also added that illegal extraction of granite is rampant across the entire Cauvery belt.
“The illegal extraction is done by forging revenue land ownership records, survey numbers and encroaching upon forest land. Over 351 granite operators have no valid permits to conduct granite extraction. However, they have been doing so for over 15 years,” the minister said.
The minister added that though only about 23 people were holding valid permits, over thousands of trucks, JCB machines and other heavy vehicles ply in Ramanagaram district.
Yogeshwar said that he would initiate legal action against the culprits and end the illegal operations.
“We will conduct a survey on the granite mining areas and appeal to the chief minister to order an inquiry into the granite mining in Ramanagaram. Such activities have resulted in increased instances of man-animal conflict,” the forest minister added.