BSY mum on Ramesh's letter on mining

At the same time, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has responded to a month-old communication from Ramesh regarding forest encroachment in the State. On July 3, Ramesh wrote to the chief minister about the illegal mining at Sandur, which was continuing unabated notwithstanding a May 10 forest advisory committee resolution that clearly and explicitly directed that such mining must be stopped.

“Since the forest advisory committee (FAC) is a statutory committee of the government, violation of its orders is a matter of serious concern,” Ramesh said.

The FAC had recommended action against three companies — SB Minerals, Trident Minerals and Veeyam Minerals (mining lease 2010)  —  and instructed the State to undertake a series of corrective actions. Ramesh wanted an answer from the state by July 10.

On July 9, the chief minister responded to an earlier communication from Ramesh (written on June 18) in which the environment minister drew his attention to forest encroachment in the State in general terms without any specific example.

Yeddyurappa listed the curbing measures the State has undertaken, including setting up of 13 additional composite check posts, introducing a new system of issuing way-permits and strengthening forest mobile squads.

But, the chief minister has neither responded to the second and more critical letter from Ramesh, nor elaborated on what the State did on the FAC recommendations, which included survey and demarcation of the area under mining lease (ML) 2010 and setting up heavy pillars on the boundary.

All the mines in the area, both contiguous to ML 2010 and otherwise in the radius of one km of ML 2010, was instructed to erect numbered heavy boundary pillars. |

Safety zone
A mandatory safety zone of 7.5 metre width all around the inner side of the boundary of these mining lease areas was recommended. The FAC favoured planting of saplings to make the ML borders a green boundary.

The FAC also recommended stopping mining activities of the three companies (SB: ML 2550, Trident: ML 2313 and Veeyam: ML 988) till the areas were demarcated and the minerals transported. It also asked the state to identify the culprits behind this irregularity.

On May 10, the State was given a time line of one month to complete the survey and erect the pillars. The saplings  were to be planted during the rainy season.

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