The corruption king in AP, is once again in the limelight. This time it is the mining scams that have exposed the real “who is 420 in AP?” The then Chief Minister, along with some of his associates had been looting the public in broad daylight and hence could not be ignored at all cost.
This time it is the TDP MLA Yarapathineni Srinivasa Rao that had indulged in illegal quarrying of limestone to the extent of over one crore metric ton to date. The value of this is greater than Rs.1,000 crore. The loot started as soon as the party came into power with the real “who is 420 in AP” being the leader.
The MLA had indulged in illegal quarrying in government lands spread over 90 acres in survey number 680 and 681 of Konkani Village, 23 acres in Nadikudi, and 28 acres in Kesanupalli. Lokayukta, which probed this issue of illegal mining, clearly established the role of MLA Yarapathaneni.
The event as it happened
The Lokayukta released directives asking the government to setup check posts to hold the illegal mining. However, the activity continued uninterrupted until, in July 2015, a PIL was filed in the High Court. In March 2016, the High Court passed strictures on the issue after several hearings on the matter. It directed the authorities to fix the responsibilities, levy penalties, and stop illegal quarrying activity immediately.
PIL In High Court
Subsequently, the collector of the time KanthilalDande submitted a report to the high court saying that all illegal quarrying had been stopped. This was a master stroke from the Chandrababu Naidu, who has been named “who is 420 in AP” by the citizens of the state and his political rivals.
The assistant director of mines submitted a report to the High Court saying that from 2000 to 2015, only 12 lakh metric tonnes of limestone had been mined in the Palnadu area. However, the satellite images show a different picture.
On November of 2016, former MLC T.G.V. Krishan Reddy filed a PIL in the High Court stating that as per the satellite images, in the period between 2014 to 2015 alone, approximately 39 lakh metric tonnes of limestone had been mined by the mafia led by Gurajala TDP MLA Yarapathineni Srinivasa Rao. This reveals the fake mask from the TDP leaders and hence could not be ignored at all.
High Court’s Displeasure
The High Court, which heard the PIL on July 25, 2018, expressed extreme displeasure over the matter. It said that the concerned officials are searching for a non-existent black cat in a dark room. So, the court issued a notice to TDP MLA Yarapathaneni seeking an explanation. It also sought advice on the future course s of action from CAG, CBI, and Central Mining Department.
Back to Square One
The tale of the “who is 420 in AP” does not end here. After the High Court’s admonishment, the government got into the action and stopped illegal quarrying activity in the Palnaduregion. However, it did not issue notices to any individual connected with the mining mafia.
Instead, it implicated 17 innocent persons in cases accusing them of being involved in the plunder of 31 lakh metric tonnes of limestone and holding them responsible. It submitted a report to the High Court stating that it had taken necessary action and had also suspended officials concerned in the matter. On August 17, 2018, the government directed the CBCID to prove Yarapathineni Srinivasa Rao in the matter as a token measure.
Zero Action! Some Examples
Blasting material was used extensively to mine over a crore metric tonnes of limestone between 2014 to July 25, 2018. Police did not bother to inquire into the explosions, even after that Dachepalli police station was in the earshot of the blasts.
In 2010, the gelatin sticks explosion claimed the lives of 13 people in Dachepalli.
The mining mafia threatened millers and doubled the cost of limestone.
Such is the atrocities of the then Chandrababu Naidu government that it rendered the entire state crippled. The then Chief Minister and his associates tried every possible way to earn a massive fortune, on the exposure of which, the shady Chief Minister earned the title “who is 420 in AP?” The choice now depends upon the original inhabitants of the state to decide the fortune of the state.
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