SC slams Karnataka on mine survey
THE SUPREME Court has criticised the Karnataka government for conducting a fresh survey to determine mining lease boundaries for a part of Essar Steel's Ballari iron ore mine. Essar had sought the survey to get the mine's status changed from forest to revenue land to enable mining. The government was conducting the survey, despite the court-appointed Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) having already identified the area as forest land. The court considered CEC's report along with the survey report by the government. Finally, it decided to stand by the CEC's findings. A bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Prafulla C Pant and A M Khanwilkar said, Not only the lessee's conduct, the legality of the joint survey undertaken by the Karnataka officials does not inspire our confidence.