VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation MD VG Venkata Reddy said that no mining activity is going on in the lands allocated to Dravidian University and the forest lands in Kuppam of Chittoor district and added that the quarries visited by Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu were sanctioned before 2019. He said that the mining department controlled the illegal mining in the said lands with the effective measures taken after Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s directions.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Venkata Reddy said in the inspections carried out by the Mining department in the area so far from September 2019, officials seized 555 granite blocks measuring about 4,787 cubic meters. Quarrying machines and other vehicles were seized and handed over to the Revenue authorities.
The value of the seized material in the illegal quarrying was around Rs 5 crore, Venkata Reddy said. He said Naidu visited the areas where quarrying was stopped after the action taken by the Mines Department.
He asserted that revolutionary changes were brought in the mines department after Jagan Mohan Reddy became Chief Minister. There was only one vigilance squad for three districts in the past, now a squad was set up for each district. As a result, illegal mining activities in the state have been brought under control, he maintained.
He further said that the department was strengthened under the direction of Mines and Geology Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy. Illegal mining, which was rampant in the past, was completely curtailed and at the same time measures were taken to ensure that the government was not losing its revenue.
Illegal quarries were identified across the state and fines of crores of rupees were imposed. The officials said they had responded to complaints of illegal mining in the forest area of the Kuppam constituency in December last.
Revenue officials clarified that the area where the illegal mining was taking place in the Santhipuram mandal belonged to the forest department. The Assistant Director of Palamaner Mines Department wrote a letter to the Divisional Forest Officer on January 4, 2022, reminding him of his responsibilities, he said.