SC bans all mining activity in the region till further orders
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered suspension of all kinds of mining activities in and around the Bellary region with immediate effect, the second blow in a row to the BS Yeddyurappa government.
However, the top court said the order is not linked to lokayukta Santosh Hegde’s report but it’s an outcome of a pending lawsuit.
A bench headed by chief justice SH Kapadia said mining has been causing massive environment damage in the region.
Ninety percent mining in Bellary district of Karnataka is illegal which has converted the green area into a war-ravaged zone with huge ugly scars, the Supreme Court-appointed committee said on Friday.
“It is estimated that the production of mines which are not found to be involved in substantial illegalities and which are eli- gible to continue mining operations may not be more than 10% of the total production of the iron ore in the district,” the panel said.
The ministry of environment and forest will come out with an interim report on the requirement of iron ore for the country’s steel industry, the court said. The ministry will also spell out as to how much of the ore is required for the domestic industry and how much needs to be imported.
“The greed of a few is making everyone suffer,” the judges said, adding: “We make it clear that there would be no mining or transportation of mined materials (in 19 mines) till further order.”
Bellary has 148 mines, of which 98 are located in forest areas. A court-appointed committee CEC suggested a severe crackdown on illegal mining in Karnataka.