ANANTAPUR: A controversy has erupted over the mining department inviting tenders for mining of iron ore in D Hirehal mandal, in the western boundary region of the state, as the Karnataka government says a survey to demarcate the boundary line remains unfinished.
The Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation (APMDC), fully owned by the state government, invited e-tenders from experienced and competent bidders for exploration, development and operations of 25 hectares of the iron ore deposit area at H Siddapuram village in D Hirelal mandal of the district a week ago. The mining operations will be on a raising-cum-sale-contract basis.
In the e-auction, the intending bidders were asked to register themselves with the AP e-procurement e-auction portal using valid digital signer certificate. The tender document for the e-tender can be viewed on APMDC website www.apmdc.ap.gov.in or on https://konugolu.ap.gov.in from 02-07-2021.
The bidder shall upload receipt / transaction acknowledgment along with prequalification documents in the online portal. The last date for submission of technical bid by online is July 23.
The H Siddapuram mining area has rich iron deposits in the D. Hirehal mandal located closer to Bellary district’s forest area of Karnataka.
A dispute between AP and Karnataka states over demarcation of boundary is ongoing. In view of the illicit mining activities and also because of the damage thereof to the state’s boundary caused by mining companies, the CBI had filed cases. Thereon, mining activities were stopped for a decade now in D Hirehal mandal.
With the APMDC is inviting e-tenders for mining activities in H. Siddapuram area, more than four lakh million tonnes of rich iron ore, including a major part of it having 65 grade ore, is available.
While Karnataka mining companies have reportedly demanded that the state government stop mining activities because a boundary dispute existed, the central survey teams have not considered village contours for demarcating the boundary.
Tapala Ganesh, mining owner from Ballari, observed in his representation to the authorities that the Survey of India has demarcated Karnataka and AP interstate boundary without considering the original landmark. The original boundary was displaced for about 400 metres from the original line, due to illegal mining activities.
Sources in the mining department observed that the e-tender process was done as per norms without any violation.