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Thread: Supreme Court cancels 49 mining leases in Karnataka

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    Default Supreme Court cancels 49 mining leases in Karnataka

    Supreme Court cancels 49 mining leases in Karnataka
    PTI, NEW DELHI, April 18, 2013

    The Supreme Court on Thursday cancelled 49 leases in mines with maximum illegalities in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts, but allowed resumption of activity in mines with fewer illegalities as recommended by the court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC).

    The CEC had categorised mines in the area in three categories: A, B and C. Mines in which there were few or no irregularities were categorised as A and those with maximum illegalities were placed in category C. The apex court, while accepting a majority of the recommendations made by the CEC since July 2011 on the mining issues in Karnataka, also said that iron-ore mining on the Andhra Pradesh-Karnataka border would remain suspended till the demarcation of the boundary between the two States was completed.

    A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam, K.S. Radhakrishnan and Ranjan Gogoi passed the order on a plea by the NGO Samaj Parivartan Samudaya (SPS), which had alleged that large-scale irregularities and illegalities were being committed by various private mining firms holding licences to mine in the three districts, as well as State-owned Mysore Minerals Ltd. (MML).

    The illegalities referred to included illegal mining, allotment of huge quantities of iron ore at throwaway prices to private companies and an increase in rates at which iron ore was supplied to some other companies. — PTI

    Fresh leases

    Bangalore Bureau adds:

    Significantly, the court lifted the “embargo” on the grant of fresh mining leases in the State. Observing that the proceeds of the sales made by category C mines would be “forfeited to the State,” the court said fresh leases for these mines could be now issued, as per the CEC’s recommendations.

    S.R. Hiremath of the SPS said the court had clearly stated in an earlier ruling (September 28, 2012) that category B mines would be required to compensate for the losses caused to the exchequer, apart from paying a fine of Rs. 6.50 crore per hectare for pits and dumps created outside the permitted area.
    Mrudul Godbole

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    It is very important to put a brake on all the illegal mines in the country. Our wilderness areas are now devastated due to these illegal mines. With the connivance of local politicians, bureaucrats, police, the mining mafia is running a parallel economy. Honest citizens who stand up to protest have been beaten and even killed.

    Some of the mines in the Karnataka and Andhra border had redrawn the state boundaries and the name of YSR and Jagan Mohan Reddy had prominently figured in this controversy. The final word on their involvement is yet to be heard, as various cases are under progress.

    In Odisha, even reputed firms like Tata's have been mining more than their entitlement. It is really hard to believe that reputed firms are not overboard in their conduct in the mining scam.

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