All stone quarries closed: KSPCB

The  Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) on Tuesday submitted in the High Court of Karnataka that all stone crushing units had been closed on June 30, 2012, following a Supreme Court order.

During the hearing of a petition by Vasanth Devadiga and others, challenging the permission for stone crushing units near residential zones, the KSPCB authorities including chairman A S Sadashivaiah, who were present in the court, said none of the leases had been renewed.

The KSPCB also submitted that the process to identify safe zones had begun and three safe zones had already been identified - one at Tavarekere near Magadi in Bangalore Rural district and two in Haveri.

Government counsel R G Kolle submitted that Deputy Commissioners of 15 districts had sent their proposals of safe zones in their respective districts. “Of these, 13 have been rejected due to technical reasons,” he said.

He submitted that the identification of safe zones in the other districts will be completed within a month. The division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna adjourned the matter.

Direction to file affidavit

The High Court has directed the State government to file an affidavit in connection with a statement by the government counsel regarding the closure of stone crushing units.

During the hearing of a petition by Karnataka State SC/STs and Minorities Association and others, seeking the closure of a crushing unit at Golahalli, the government counsel R G Kolle stated that all licences pertaining to stone crushing units had expired on June 30, 2012 and no licence had been renewed. The court adjourned the matter with a direction to file a detailed affidavit.

HC summons Kollegal AC

The High Court has directed the assistant commissioner, Kollegal to appear before it in connection with a petition seeking a direction to allow quarrying on a site that authorities claim falls in a reserve forest area.

The petitioner, V Sampangiramaiah, had moved the High Court after he was issued an endorsement directing that he should stop quarrying on the site, failing which he would be arrested. The forest department stated that the area where the quarry exists was within the notified reserve forest and the quarry could not be allowed to operate.

However, the petitioner submitted that the quarry did not fall within the reserve forest and sought directions to allow him to quarry.

When the government counsel submitted that despite several communications, the assistant commissioner had not responded in this matter, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B V Nagarathna directed the assistant commissioner to appear before the court.

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