A Supreme Court-appointed expert panel on Thursday said the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka must agree on the inter-state boundary before it finalises its recommendations on alleged illegal mining on the border.
In a report submitted to the court, the 10-man committee said it has faced some technical challenges in "unambiguous demarcation" of boundaries of the six mine areas, leased to four companies owned by the Reddy brothers of Karnataka.
The committee said: "There should be no mining activity during the demarcation work". If the court accepts the recommendations on Friday, the ban on mining ordered by the Andhra Pradesh government will have to continue for further few months.
"Entire mine lease sketches issued to different lease holders in Bellary reserved forest area need to be reviewed and redrawn by the government of Andhra Pradesh with reference to at least two permanent points in the area and they should have bearing and distance which provide a closed polygon," the panel said, adding the mines will be demarcated with coordinated boundary pillars only after the conditions are fulfilled.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan appointed a committee, headed by Survey of India, to verify charges of largescale encroachment by Oblapuram Mining Company (OMC) owned by the Reddy brothers, who were restrained by the SC on March 22 from carrying out mining activities in an area spread over 136 hectares in AP's Anantapur district following an adverse report by the Central Empowered Committee.
The Bench had earlier also sought a response from the Reddy brothers — G Janardhana Reddy, Tourism Minister and Karunakara Reddy, Revenue Minister — on the SLP filed by AP government challenging the state High Court order quashing the lease cancellation orders.