HUBBALLI: Acting on the direction of Supreme Court, a team from Survey of India will be taken up border survey in Ballari to demarcate the line between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Revenue and Forest officials from both the states will accompanying the survey team which will conduct survey at Obalapuram and surrounding villages. The survey has been ordered after series of irregularities were found where mine owners including BJP’s Janardhan Reddy were allegedly involved.
A forest official told TNIE that the team has arrived in Ballari and it will take up survey to regularise the border lines as per the court’s directions. “A meeting of officials from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh is expected to be held on the same day. The survey will identify the border lines after which the extent of encroachment can be determined,” the official said.
The point of border dispute, Obalapuram has cluster of six mines of which three are owned by Janardhan Reddy. On December 18th 2008, then Lokayukta Santosh Hegade and forest officer U V Singh had mentioned in their report that top quality iron ore is being mined from Karnataka region across the border and being sent to ports in east coasts with the label of ore mined in Andhra Pradesh.
“Out of six mines that are present, four mines are said to have encroached upon Karnataka border. There was a committee report submitted to the government in 2011 but it was not accepted. Social activist S R Hiremath too had petitioned alleging large scale encroachment by mining company owners in Karnataka part of border,” pointed out a forest official.
“The borders between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh has been marked several years ago. The revenue offices in Bengaluru and Ballari have been asked to collect the document and maps pertaining to Obalapuram and surrounding areas. On Tuesday the officials from Andhra Pradesh will also be present in Ballari and we shall discuss issues pertaining to border so that the areas are demarcated as soon as possible,” said a official from the revenue department.