Restoration work on in 5 state mines: panel to SC

Forest department to review progress and survey leases

The Central Empowered Committee has informed the Supreme Court that the reclamation and rehabilitation work has been initiated in as many as five out of 16 in the ‘A’ category of mines in Karnataka.

In its latest report submitted to the Supreme Court, it said that the forest department had agreed to provide all help and review the progress, besides the survey of the mining leases.

“The work on implementation of the approved rehabilitation and reclamation plans has already started in the five mining leases and in others it is expected to start soon,” the report said.It further pointed out that undertaking of the preparatory works such as surveys by the lessee for preparation of the reclamation and rehabilitation plans, survey and exploration works relating to the preparation of the mining plan, scheme of mining for seeking statutory approval from Indian Bureau of Mines, demarcation of the lease boundaries on the ground, maintenance of roads etc have been permitted by the forest department.

It has been further decided that the forest department will regularly review the progress made in this regard and will sort out any teething problem related with such issues, the committee said.“The principal secretary (forest) and the principal chief conservator of forests have taken effective steps to ensure that no further teething problems are faced in the matter in the implementation of the reclamation and rehabilitation plans.

The officers concerned have been asked to ensure that the implementation of the approved reclamation and rehabilitation plans by the lessees is undertaken immediately,” the report said. The committee also said that it has been clarified that the respective lessees are responsible for the implementation of the approved reclamation and rehabilitation plans even if the lease period has expired.

The apex court had on April 13 given detailed directions regarding the preparation and implementation of reclamation and rehabilitation plans pertaining to the mining leases in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts.The special forest bench of the apex court on April 20 permitted the resumption of mining operations in the mining leases falling in ‘A’ category subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions including the preparation of reclamation and rehabilitation plans and the lessees having all the statutory approvals.

Notably, the court on August 17 reiterated that unless reclamation and rehabilitation plans were put in place, no permission for resumption of mining operation would be given to the 16 mines falling in ‘A’ category of mines.

Comments (+)