Illegal mining grave in Tumkur, Chitradurga: SPS

The Samaja Parivartana Samudaya (SPS), spearheading the struggle against illegal mining, has brought to the notice of Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee, the alleged irregularities and violation of rules by Mata Minerals in Tumkur district.

Housing Minister V Somanna’s son is the managing director of the company.

In its second submission,  the SPS has alleged that Mata Minerals was engaged in illegal mining and encroached 37.30 acres of gomala land. Undue influence of Somanna is also suspected.

SPS President S R Hiremath told mediapersons here on Wednesday that illegal mining in Tumkur and Chitradurga districts is more serious than that in Bellary region.

Several mining lease holders like Laxminarasimha Mines and Allam Veerabhadrappa Mines in Tumkur and Chitradurga districts have not maintained boundary pillars and have encroached adjacent forest land.

 The CEC has been urged to recommend the cancellation of such mining leases. The Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM) has been enhancing the annual production limit of mines unscientifically, and it has led to unsustainable mining practices.

Many miners including Sesa Goa  secure patta land from local farmers. Mining permits in common boundary areas should be cancelled, Hiremath said.

The CEC has also been urged to ask an empowered team to conduct a joint survey of  mining lease areas in Tumkur and Chitradurga districts, and to suspend mining operations where lease conditions are violated.

No mining activities should be allowed unless clearances under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 are obtained.

The practice of mining under a working permission should be discontinued, and permission for private stock yards should be withdrawn, he noted, adding that the CEC has been urged to recommend the suspension of mining and transport of ore in Tumkur and Chitradurga districts also.

The Supreme Court has asked the Indian Council for Forestry Research (ICFR) to assess the impact of mining on the environment in Bellary, Hospet and Sandur areas. It has also ordered the State Government to come up with a plan within three months, to restore the ecology in mining areas, Hiremath added.

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