The Supreme Court on Friday suspended mining activities in two more districts of Karnataka and said it would not amend its order until a rehabilitation plan is worked out.
A special forest bench headed by chief justice SH Kapadia ordered halt of mining operations in Tumkur and Chitradurga districts on a recommendation by its expert panel.
The SC appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) had on August 19 recommended the ban on the ground that the mining operation was going on recklessly and in an environmentally unsustainable manner. The operations were carried out with the prime objective to exploit the iron ore mines, merely for short term gains.
CEC’s report further stated there was loss of forest land due to the illegal mining of iron ore in the 2678 hectare of the two districts that had been witnessing excessive, illegal mining.
“This court’s July 29 order, by which the mining operations have been suspended (in Bellary), may be extended in respect of the mining leases in districts of Tumkur and Chitradurga,” the report had said.
It cited instances of about 55 illegal mining activity in Tumkur and about 18 mining leases in Chitradurga, 687 hectare of which 500 hectare is in the forest land of Chitradurga.