The state government will take steps to check illegal mining at Kappathagudda in Gadag district and take action against anti-social elements who are assaulting nearby villagers.
Replying to a question by Basavaraja Horatti of JD(S) in the Legislative Council, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the government had given mining licences to two companies for a period of 20 years in 1978.
Accordingly, the licences expired in 1998. The companies submitted application in 2004 seeking renewal of licences and they are pending before the government due to some ‘technical grounds’.
Since then, no illegal mining has been allowed there, he added. He said he will instruct the Gadag police to visit the spot and arrest the anti-social elements who are reportedly attacking people when they went to stop it. A decision will be taken within the ambit of the law.
“Our government will not encourage goondaism and it will be dealt with an iron hand,” he said. Horatti said Kappathagudda has a lot of medicinal plants and is an abode for wild animals too.
A local pontiff has built checkdams and water is available in all seasons now, he noted. Recently, some goons are supporting illegal mining and local police have failed to arrest them.
The government should set up an authority to save the precious medicinal plants. Otherwise, the entire forest will be ravaged by mindless mining, he said.