Exploitation of the limited mineral resources in Warangal.

Improper monitoring over mining leaseholders by officials is leading to over-exploitation of the limited mineral resources in Warangal.

This happens when the mining mafia excavates mineral resources on unpermitted land located close to their lease areas.

That exploitation of mineral resources over adjoining and unpermitted land occurs, is borne out by the fact that there is a high number of mining leaseholders with permission from the department of mines and geology, Warangal, to mine one to two acres with lease period ranging from 15-20 years.

There are even government lands leased by the mining and geology department (MGD) over land as small as 0.4 acres, which sources said, is an eyewash as the mafia’s modus operandi is actually to mine adjoining non-permitted area.

The long lease period up to 20 years, help them do it. For instance, information obtained from MGD, Warangal under the Right to Information Act, shows that out of 298 holding licences to mine black granite from MGD, 145 licensees are exclusively mining one acre each with a 20 yr lease period.

There are four licensees with rights to mine only 0.4 acre each for 15-20 years (see table).

Such a high number of mining leaseholders with rights over small areas with long lease period not only make it difficult for MGD officials to supervise, but increases the scope for mining over non-permitted areas to maximise their profit in collusion with lower level officials. There are serious allegations that often the leaseholders mine another mineral, not the one permitted by the MGD.

For example, some with a licence to mine laterite are in the business of excavating iron ore illegally from the area simultaneously.

The allegations gain credence as 90 per cent of the private mining leaseholders in Warangal do not erect signboards at the location of the lease with details like name of the leaseholder, address, extent of the lease, survey number, whether it is government or private land, mineral permitted and lease period.

This can be proved if one takes a visit in any of the private mining site locations in Warangal.

Curiously, the MGD, Warangal neither publicises the information on its website nor ensures that the leaseholders erect signboard with details at the site of the lease as these can alert locals about mining in unauthorized areas and non-permitted minerals.

When contacted, Mr M. Kodandaram Reddy, assistant director of mining and geology department, Warangal, said, “In case people notice anything fishy, they can inform the vigilance squad at 9502225511.”