From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network
Bengaluru, Feb 19: A delegation of quarry and stone crusher owners, which met mines and geology minister Murugesh Nirani in his office in Vikasa Soudha on Friday under the leadership of the Congress Chief Whip in the state legislative council Dr Ajay Singh, demanded simplification of stone crushing and mining rules.
The comprising Kalaburgi District Stone Crushing Industries Association president Neelakantarau S Mulagi and other office-bearers urged the minister to ensure that the previous system of granting quarrying and stone crushing licences based on Pahani documents and land maps must be restored especially in the Kalyana Karnataka region in view of its backwardness.
The delegation pointed out that mines and geology department officials have already deducted 90% of the payment from their bills as royalty by measuring the mining areas and even by making use of drone cameras, the charges of which are also sought from the owners of mines of quarry and stone crushers.
The delegation apprised the minister that royalty has to be paid only if the stones from the quarries and crushers of the mining areas were used for government projects or own buildings.
The payment due to the owners of quarries and stone crushers deducted from the bills must be treated like the royalty from the owners and the stones and crushed gravels must be treated as an essential commodity and exempted, the delegation said.
The minister said he will convene a meeting of officials and representatives of the owners of quarries and stone crushers and make honest efforts to resolve their problems.
The delegation comprised of Kalaburgi District Stone Crushing Industries Association vice president Prabudev S Kalburgi, general secretary, R G Patil, secretary, Manohar G Guttedar, joint secretary, Abdul Shankar Sab Mamu, treasurer, Shivaiah B Guttedar and others.
Meeting a delegation from the Federation of Karnataka Quarry and Stone Crushers Owners Association, the minister promised to provide necessary assistance to the business leaders and create an investor-friendly atmosphere.
Allaying the apprehensions of the association of quarry and stone crushers owners, Nirani promised to take steps to include their demands in the budget and mentioned that the mines and geology department has already taken several key reformative measures.
The quarry and stone crushers owners’ associations highlighted the issues concerning their sector and requested the minister to fulfil their various demands. They sought to formulate a separate study under Karnataka Minor Minerals Concession Rules (KMMCR) for non-specified mineral such as construction stone, gravel and demanded the minister to instruct deputy commissioners to create separate cluster magazine for quarries on 15 acres of area and above.
The delegation demanded resolution of cases for Rs 5 lac under the MMDR Act and cancellation of hectic fines collected on the basis of drone survey report which they termed unscientific and arbitrary. They also wanted the government to make it mandatory to get a royalty (MDP/MDR) licence for stone mining contractors.
The delegation wanted the government to get rid of 44(3) and 44(4) of the KMMCR Act and reduction of DMF charge construction stone by 10 per cent. They also demanded the government to grant a 30-year lease for non-specified mineral-like construction stone, the 30-year lease presently granted for specified minerals.
The owners demanded a reduction of royalty payable for stone mining on Patta land and doing away with AAPP. They sought permission to carry out stone mining for those having crusher and M-sand units as per 31ZC rule.
The honorary president of the Federation of Karnataka Quarry and Stone Crushers Owners’ Associations, Dattatri, president, Sanjeev Hattiholi, vice presidents, D Siddaraju and N Manjunath and general secretary, Purushothama were present in the meeting.