New Delhi, September 10: Officials from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are all set to dust off British era maps to conduct survey exercise in order to demarcate border areas between the two States in Bellary district.
Their mandate is to fix the border markers between the two States at Bellary in Karnataka and Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh, that were damaged by illegal mining. The Supreme Court earlier, directed the authorities concerned to demarcate inter-state boundary.
“Earlier, there was a suggestion for fixing the border markers based on the latitude and longitude point available with the Department of Forests, but it was dropped, following complaints that the method was unscientific. Now, it is planned to demarcate the border areas on the basis of original survey map from the ‘Deccan Survey Field Book’prepared by the Britishers in 1923,” sources close to development told Deccan Herald. The exact dates for the survey have not been fixed yet, the process has already started, the sources added.
Surveying border and its demarcation are challenging tasks for both states, due to destruction of “GT station” also known as triangulation station in three border villages – Obulapuram, H Siddapuram and Mallapanagudi. The triangulation station is also known as triangulation pillar, which is a fixed surveying station, used in geodetic surveying. The mining companies have reportedly removed the GT station and destroyed rock markers and other pillars on the border in order to shift their activities from Anantapur district to Bellary.
It is alleged that six mining companies, including the Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC) owned by jailed mining baron Janardhana Reddy, mined in the border areas and removed the GT station and other border point markers illegally. The OMC which had mining permission in the Anantapur district had reportedly mined in the Bellary district by removing border markers.
Samaja Parivarthana Samudaya, a Dharwad-based NGO, in its recent interlocutory application before SC pleaded for immediate demarcation of the boundary by setting up the GT station with permanent pillars and control points with latitude and longitude. The inter-state boundary has been under dispute for many years in Bellary district. Though, both states have conducted independent surveys in 1987 to find out the same, the two came out with two boundaries and inter-state border drawn by each, stretched into the areas of the other.
Taking advantage, the mining firms engaged in mining activities in Anantapur district transgressed to the Bellary district and extracted over 21 lakh tonne, of ore illegally, it is alleged.