Pump funds to reclaim green cover: Panel

The Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on Thursday recommended that to reclaim the lost environment due to illegal iron ore mining in ore-rich districts in Karnataka, there is a need to spend Rs 32,000 crore in next 30 years.

As per the panel suggestion to the Supreme Court, the Karnataka Government should set up a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to improve the environment as per  the Comprehensive Environment Plan for the Mining Impact Zone (CEPMIZ) in iron ore rich districts Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur.

On raising funds to the SPV, the green panel suggested that certain percentage of money raised through sale of existing and newly extracted iron ore by the monitoring committee be given to the SPV.

Apart from improving the bio-diversity of mining rich districts, the SPV should work towards development of socio-economic situation of the areas, the panel said. The Chief Secretary of Karnataka should head the SPV and officers of different departments should be its members. The SPV should function in a transparent manner and its accounts should be subject to an annual audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

The CEC also suggested the apex court to direct the state government to submit the details pertaining to regaining of lost environment as per the CEPMIZ, setting up SPV and its functioning and other details to the Supreme Court within four weeks.

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