Illegal mining in Bellary: IAS officer grilled

Hyderabad, February 28: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has questioned a senior IAS officer in connection with the alleged illegal mining activities of Obulapuram Mining Corporation (OMC). She is the first officer to be questioned by the CBI ever since the probe commenced.

Sources told Express that a team of CBI sleuths grilled Y Srilakshmi, presently posted as commissioner (Health) after the investigating agency found irregularities in certain leases given to the OMC owned by Karnataka tourism minister Gali Janardhan Reddy.

“The irregularities were committed between 2005 and 2009,”sources said. Srilakshmi was then the secretary of mining department.

It is learnt that she was asked several questions about the mining leases and permits and the investigators believe that preferential treatment was given to OMC during the leasing.

“She was asked whether standard procedures were followed or not while according the mining leases,” they said. The CBI sleuths have already obtained data on the quantity and quality of the iron ore exported from various places. “Investigation so far indicates that several permits were written by the OMC employees who later got them signed by the officials,” sources said.

Sources further said that certain experts from the Indian Mining School have confirmed that the iron ore exported by OBC was of better quality than the iron ore available in the mines leased to the company.