Newly-appointed Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee on Thursday favoured resumption of mining in the state and said: “We cannot stop mining as it is a major source of revenue for the government.”
Assuming charge as the 33rd Chief Secretary of Karnataka here, he said: “Our steel industries require around 30 million tonnes of iron ore. Besides, it fetches huge revenue to the state’s exchequer. Mining can be permitted in forests which do not have vegetation and wildlife. However, permission has to be taken before mining in forest areas.”
On the illegal mining scam, Mukherjee said: “A scam is a scam. But the issue of illegal mining was well-handled by the bureaucracy under the leadership of my predecessor S V Ranganath. The Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court has praised the steps taken by a coordination committee headed by Ranganath. Those who were involved in illegal mining are now in jail and others are facing charges.”
On his visits to rural areas to understand the problems of villagers, he said: “I am a village man. My proximity to villages may reduce after assuming this post, but I will visit villages to understand the problems of people living in rural areas.”
About improving infrastructure in Bangalore City, Mukherjee said he would not promise to provide world-class facilities to Bangaloreans. “I will definitely try to improve facilities by implementing a number of schemes,” he added.
On the Supreme Court’s directives to the Centre to fix a minimum tenure of civil servants and constituting Civil Services Boards at the Centre and State-levels to effect transfers and promotion of civil servants, Mukherjee said he cannot comment on the apex court’s judgment but it would be definitely implemented in Karnataka.
On complaints regarding IAS/IPS transfers are, he said transfer was quite common. There was no problem if one efficient officer was replaced by another equally efficient officer, he said adding that quality of administration suffers if efficient officers were replaced by inefficient ones.