SC orders survey of AP-K'taka boundary

SC orders survey of AP-K'taka boundary

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Survey of India (SOI) to undertake a boundary determination exercise in cooperation with Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Central government authorities in the Bellary-Hospet region, which is rich in iron ore.

A three-judge green bench presided over by Justice A K Patnaik directed the SOI to submit its report in six weeks.

The bench, also comprising justices S S Nijjar and F M I Kalifullah, asked the chief secretaries of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka and the Ministry of Environment and Forest to extend all cooperation to the authorities for the purpose.

Senior advocate Krishnan Venugopal, appearing for one of the lessees, submitted that inter-state boundary was to be determined after the SOI survey, in accordance with the apex court’s April 18 order. It was necessary to resolve disputes among leaseholders, he pointed out.

Taking a note of his submission, the court ordered completion of the work.
The apex court had lifted an embargo on grant of fresh leases for iron ore mines in Karnataka’s Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts, while allowing reopening of A and B category mines.

It had also accepted a Central Empowered Committee’s recommendation cancelling leases of 49 C category iron ore mines for “playing havoc with the national economy.”

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