Taking exception to the way in which the Survey of India was working on the demarcation of the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh inter-State border in Ballari district, activist Tapal Ganesh, on Friday, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah appealing to give relevant directions to the survey agency before it submits its final report to the Supreme Court. The task of demarcation was assigned by the Supreme Court of India after the complaints were raised of alleged destruction of the border by Obulapuram Mining Company.
In the letter, Mr. Ganesh raised an objection to the reliance of Survey of India on the Ballari reserve forest map of 1896, which, he argued, was not a primary map as mentioned by the earlier Surveyor General of India in his letter to the Director of Mines and Geology, Government of Andhra Pradesh. He argued to consider 1887 traverse data measurements and readings for the missing boundaries of cluster village.
“It [the letter of Surveyor General of India] has mentioned that Bellary Reserve Forest map is not a primary map… Secondly Mr. Deepak Sharma committee also categorically stated that the Bellary Reserve Forest map does not have survey measurements and having the error of 300 meters variation…,” Mr. Ganesh noted in the letter.
Mr. Ganesh also observed as per the Deepak Sharma committee, the chicken neck portion on the border had two tri-junctions – one at Anthara Gangamma Konda connecting Tumti, Malapanagudi and Siddapura and other at Thimmappana Gudda connecting Tumti, Tittalapura and Malapanagudi. He noted that the former tri-junction was intact and the latter was destroyed in the illegal extraction by the mining company owned by BJP leader and former minister Gali Janardhan Reddy in 2007 and 2008.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Ganesh said taking the Ballari forest map of 1896, which is essentially not a primary map, as a baseline in the survey for determining the interstate border destroyed in the illegal mining, would result in showing Timmappana Gudda a part of Andhra Pradesh and covering up encroachment by miners.
“Timmappana Gudda, a hill on the Karnataka Andhra Pradesh border, has been part of Karnataka. If the survey is done based on the revenue map as per 1887 traverse data measurements and readings, the hill would remain in Karnataka and the encroachment by the Obulapuram Mining Company would come out. If the survey is based on Bellary Reserve Forest map of 1896, the hill would become the part of Andhra Pradesh and the illegal encroachment of it by Obulapuram Mining Company, which carried out mining activity on the Andhra Pradesh government, would be justified. The Survey of India is opting the latter map to protect the mining barons,” he said.