ibnlive » India

Aug 13, 2008 at 02:29am IST

Bellary strikes gold in Beijing but it doesn’t shine

Bangalore: The biggest sporting spectacle in the world has already begun and guess who has already struck gold in games, it is the iron ore miners in Bellary. It is a city in Bellary district in Karnataka.

Bellary seems to have a unique connection with Beijing Olympics games 2008. Their iron mined from Sandur-Hospet-Bellary belt has gone into building the incredible infrastructure that was required by the Beijing authorities for the games.

The iron ore, which was quoted around Rs150-200 per tonne till the end of 2003, shot up to over Rs2,000 per tonne following the huge demand from Chinese ore traders. In 2005 alone, Bellary mine owners have reportedly made profits of Rs3,100 crore.

Though, the miners of Bellary have struck gold due to the Beijing Olympics, the apparent gold rush just seems to be like a passing mirage for them.

The recent report by Centre for Science and Environment has come up with harsh comments on the mining activity in Bellary. The report says that Bellary is a poverty-stricken area and though its mine owners are rich enough to hold the largest collection of private aircrafts in the country, the report recommends that mining must not be allowed without the consent of the people.

To this, Karnataka Infrastructure Minsiter Janardhana Reddy said, “What the report has been given is only in connection with illegal mines. That is affecting ladies and children.”

Infact, illegal mining is so rampant in Bellary that the CSE report says that there has been a huge drain on the state exchequer. Karnataka lost an estimated Rs25,000 crore. The government now says that it will take a tough stand on illegal mining in Bellary.