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Limestone mining lease to Jaganmohan Reddy's company declared ‘lapsed’

Hyderabad: Dealing another blow to YSR Congress President Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday officially declared as "lapsed" the limestone mining lease granted to his Saraswathi Power and Industries Limited in Guntur district of the state.

The then Y S Rajasekhar Reddy government had in May 2009 granted the 30-year lease to Saraswathi, in which Jagan is a director, for extraction of limestone in an area of 613 hectares spread over three villages, for setting up a cement plant.

The Director of Mines and Geology reported to the state government in August 2011 that the mining lease has lapsed as it was "not working" and "kept idle" against relevant rules.

The government also served a show cause notice to the company in February 2012 asking why the mining lease should not be cancelled in view of non-fulfillment of conditions. The company did not respond but the government in June 2012 issued a second notice. Though the company replied to the second show cause notice, the Director of Mines reported that it was "not satisfactory".

"There was no request for extension of time and no efforts have been made by the company for establishment of cement plant near the lease-hold area despite lapse of five years," Industries Principle Secretary J S V Prasad said in an order on Thursday.

"After duly following due procedure under the rules and keeping in view the complete failure of the company to fulfil the mining lease conditions, the government hereby declares the mining lease held by Saraswathi Power and Industries Limited, officially, as lapsed under Rule 28 (1) of Mineral Concession Rules with effect from August 20, 2011," Prasad said.

He said the company failed to establish the cement plant for captive purpose and also failed to furnish environmental clearance from Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. 

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