CEC for mining ban in Tumkur, Chitradurga

CEC for mining ban in Tumkur, Chitradurga

A three-judge forest bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia issued notices in view of the recommendation of the Court-appointed CEC, which termed the on-going extraction of iron ore as “reckless”, “irresponsible” and “thoughtless”, leading to adverse impact on ecology.

On July 29, the apex Court had suspended all mining activities in Bellary district, observing that extraction of iron ore would not be allowed at the cost of environment degradation. Senior counsel A D N Rao, appearing for CEC, referred to the latest report and sought the ban to be extended to other two districts as well. “The CEC is of the view that the level of illegality and environmental degradation caused by mining leases in district Tumkur are in no way less than that which has taken place in district Bellary (even though the level of production is much less than Bellary).”

“The level of illegality and environmental degradation is relatively lesser in Chitradurga. However, here also the situation is far from satisfactory,” the report said.

According to the CEC, a total of 55 mining leases have been granted in Tumkur covering an area of 2678.97 hectares. Out of the total, 24 mining leases are for iron ore in 1203.10 hectares area, of which 257.37 hectares is forest land and 945.73 non-forest.

“The CEC is of the considered view that mining of iron ore in Tumkur has been done in environmentally unsustainable manner without taking into consideration the imperatives of inter-generation equity, large scale illegalities and irregularities have taken place in the matter of mining of iron ore. The mining activities therefore are adversely impacting the ecology in the area and agricultural productivity.”

The committee said further: “The mining is/was being done in a reckless and irresponsible with the prime objective of over-exploitation of iron ore for purely short term private gains. Public interest has been completely disregarded,” the report said.

In Chitradurga district, 18 mining leases were being operated in an area of 687.42 hectares comprising 497.64 hectares of forest land and 189.78 hectares of non-forest land. Out of the 18 mining leases, 12 were found to be involved in various “illegalities/ irregularities”, the CEC report stated, adding, “approach road to a mining lease has been constructed by vertical cutting of the hill and thereby effectively cutting the hill into two parts.”

HC order to hit 54 Goa mines

The Bombay High Court ruling on the five-year validity of environment clearances for iron ore mines is expected to impact the operations of many mines in Goa, many of them run by lead exporters. “It will impact 54 mines,” says the environment group Goa Foundation.

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