The mining scam in Karnataka could easily be worth Rs 2,500 crore (Rs 2.5 billion) says Justice Santosh Hegde, the state’s Lokayukta, who has been investigating the scam for the past three years.The scale of corruption is of a magnitude that India has not witnessed, he says.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has recently admitted that 35 lakh (3.5 million) metric tonnes of iron ore have gone unaccounted for.The figure may easily be around 100 lakh (1 billion) metric tonnes which is easily worth over Rs 2,500 crore, which makes it the biggest scam India has ever seen.The chief minister even claimed that 4.8 million tons had been smuggled out in 2007-2008.

The ore is being illegally transported to other ports like Karwar, Mangalore, Goa , Kakinada and Chennai on the east coast. Iron ore is being illegally exported to these ports too.

The Karnataka government, which recently took steps to restrict the export of iron ore, has received over 1,000 applications including from top steelmakers such as ArcelorMittal India, the Tata Group and the JSW Group, to mine for iron ore in the one of the state’s largest resource blocks.
This is the first time in 10 years that Karnataka has offered a large area of land-—spread over 6,400 acres in the mineralrich region of Bellary.     READ FULL ARTICLE

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