India: Using geospatial technology, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in India exposed illegal mining business of G Janardhan Reddy, a former minister in Karnataka State Government; and B Srinivas Reddy, MD, Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC).
Earlier, an inquiry by a committee (formed-by the Supreme Court of India) revealed that OMC had expanded its mining limits from 180 acres to 827 acres. The inquiry also observed that OMC had moved the markers delineating the state boundary between Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
The CBI collected approximately 130 samples of iron ore from various consignments of the Reddys’ iron ore mines and neighbouring mines were collected by the CBI. These samples were sent for 3D laser scanning to various laboratories, including the laboratory at Singareni Collieries. Satellite imagery (from National Remote Sensing Centre, Hyderabad) of the region was also analysed to determine its topography.
Viewing all this, the CBI determined that there was significant mismatch between each of the samples collected from the consignments of the Reddys. “It was evident that the iron ore that was invoiced and dispatched from OMC was not actually mined there. Instead, it was mined somewhere else and sold on the invoices of OMC,” explained one of CBI officials on anonymity.
According to OMC’s own admission, about 29 lakh tonnes of iron ore was mined and sold from the Obulapuram mines. However, satellite imagery proved that the actual mining in the area was far less than that claimed by the Reddys. This analysis has also made it clear that the high grade iron ore did not come from Obulapuram.