SC order brings cheer for greens in Bellary

SC order brings cheer for greens in Bellary

Environmentalists are a happy lot given that rampant mining had caused damage to the forest land and environment in the region. The mine owners and officials had neglected protection of the environment, they said.

S R Hiremath of Dharwad-based Samaja Parivartana Samudaya has welcomed the order, saying: “It will go a long way towards protection of the environment and forest land.”
“It is too much to expect the mine owners to develop a forest, given that they have not planted a single sapling,” Hiremath told Deccan Herald.

It was Hiremath who had filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court against illegal mining.

Hiremath hailed the role of Lokayukta officers like U V Singh and Vikas Sharma who brought the matter to light.

Mine owner Tapal Ganesh is of the opinion that such a step was necessary to prevent illegal mining in the future, even though the move would send the economy of the district, which became rich in recent times, haywire.

However, the court order may affect those involved in mining legally.  The apex court should take note of this, Ganesh said. Steps should now be taken for the protection of the environment in the region, he added.

The order applies to 11,604 hectares in the districts of Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur. It will affect the owners of steel factories and workers, depending on the ore from the mines.

Thousands of workers involved directly or indirectly in the steel and iron industries will also be affected.

Owners and drivers of cranes, tippers and lorries used for transporting the ore, as also their dependents will be hit by the Supreme Court order.

The mining industry has grown to gargantuan proportions in the district over the years and those who have invested crores of rupees will be hit hard by the court order.
The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has surveyed 99 mining areas in the district since May 16. Survey is pending in some more sites.

The CEC chief had directed the Department of Mines and Geology not to grant permission for mining as illegalities had come to the fore and accordingly mining has been stopped.

49 lorries seized
 A team led by Deputy Commissioner A A Biswas on Saturday seized 49 lorries for transporting iron ore in violation of the Supreme Court Forest Bench order suspending all mining activity in the district.The lorries were transporting ore to Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh from BMC Mines near Hospet, Biswas told Deccan Herald.

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