KARWAR: It has now been learnt that the ore that used to reach the Belekere port from
Bellary using fake transit permit was illegally exported to several foreign nations. This fact came to light during Lokayukta investigation which also revealed that the officials too abetted with this smuggling.
Recently, a team of 40 officials led by the Lokayukta officer UV Singh (forest division) had seized unaccounted ore worth Rs 15 crore in Karwar port and Rs 150 crore in Belekere port. It was also revealed during investigation that there were 5 lakh tonnes of unaccounted ore in Belekere port. The investigation officer UV Singh even informed that the ore was brought to Belekere port from Bellary Hospete using fake transit permit, to export to foreign nations.
In Belekere alone officials had seized fake transit permits kept in 40 bags, while 8 bags full of transit permits were recovered in Hosapete.
Though some forces are moving heaven and earth to export the seized ore in Belekere, the presence of honest Lokayukta forest officials has come in the way of the illegal act.
But the several port officials turning the blind eye to the blatant use of fake transit permits has given room for suspicion. Though there is a rule that the officials of Department of Mines and Geology and forest officials have to inspect the ore stock yard on a regular basis, they, it is learnt have not been making any effort in that direction thereby facilitating the illegal act.
Reports even said that the life style of several staff and officials of the Karwar Mines and Geology Department has witnessed a sea change since some time giving room for doubts. There is also a feeling that the illegal activity would have been unearthed long back had there been continuous Lokayukta raids in the port.