Mining dependants protest in Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Miners and mining dependants from Ballari, Hospet, Chitradurga districts and surrounding areas in Karnataka yesterday staged a protest demanding to lift ban on iron ore-mining in certain parts of the State.

Workmen, truckers and allied small-scale industries were also part of the protest and they under the banner of Karnataka Gani Avalambithara Vedike held a sit-in demonstration. They demanded the government to save their livelihood.

According to media reports, they had claimed that the ban had led them to poverty and joblessness and that they were the most affected.

A spokesperson of the organisation said that uncertainty loomed large over the lakhs of miners because of the discriminatory policies. This was prevalent only in Karnataka mining sector and nowhere else, he claimed, adding that due to restrictions on production, e-auction and other activities, it had led to lowering the mining capacity and had caused stagnation in the iron-ore industry.

He further claimed that production and dispatch from the leases were never fixed and fluctuated in accordance with the purchasing pattern of the steel industry. Buyers of iron ore are allowed to buy freely from outside Karnataka whereas sellers are not allowed to sell freely resulting in a huge pile-up of inventory, he said.

They urged the government to ensure their survival by allowing free trade, giving preference to local iron ore over imports and ensuring regular business for truckers and lakhs of other mining dependents.

NT Bureau