Ensure miners restored land after mining: SC to Centre

Ensure miners restored land after mining: SC to Centre

PTI photo

The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Union government to impose a condition for grant of a mining lease and environment clearance that grass and other vegetations would be restored by the miners after mining activities were over in a particular area.

The land must be restored to ensure that it was fit for the growth of fodder, flora, fauna etc, it said.

“We see no reason why the area which has been mined should not be restored so that grass and other vegetations including trees can grow in the mining area for the benefits of animals,” a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant said.

The top court directed the Union government to devise appropriate methods for ensuring compliance of this condition after the mining activity was over, at the cost of the mining lease holders.

The bench also noted that it was not in dispute that re-grassing technology was available in the country.

The court had on January 16, 2019, passed an order taking cognisance of the deleterious effect of mining on vegetation after mining activities were over.

“An area which is mined results in complete elimination of grass which in turn denies fodder to the herbivores. The only solution can be re-grassing of such mined areas,” it had then observed in a writ petition filed by Common Cause, related to mining activities in Odisha.

On Wednesday, the court directed the lease holders should undertake re-grassing the mining area and any other area which may have been disturbed due to their mining activities, after ceasing of mining operations.

“This condition shall be in addition to other conditions, already imposed for achieving the purpose under the mine closure plan. This condition shall not be imposed in derogation of any conditions already in force,” it said.

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