The Supreme Court on Friday said it would not allow resumption of mining activities of iron and ore in Karnataka unless there is a statutory compliance and full implementation of reclamation and rehabilitation measures.
“You don’t press for resumption of mining activities unless we are sure that there is a statutory compliance. No mining activities will resume unless reclamation and rehabilitation (R&R) measures are fully implemented. All statutory compliance should be there,” a special forest bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam said.
The bench, which accepted all recommendations of August 16 report of the apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC), asked the authorities in Karnataka to fully cooperate in the implementation of the suggestions.
The report said there was no need for any order for resumption of mining activities till the recommendations are implemented for which all stake-holders had the meeting early this week.
The Bench granted the CEC two weeks to file a comprehensive report detailing the steps taken for statutory compliance, implementation of R&R measures and the permission needed for the resumption of mining.
The bench, also comprising justices K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar, also asked the CEC to look into the claims of advocate Prashant Bhushan that other serious illegalities and environmental damages have been caused by those operating on category A mines and many of which are in forest area.
Bhushan was appearing for NGO, Samaj Parivartana Samudaya, which has filed PIL against the illegal mining and encroachment of forest areas in the state.
The apex court fixed August 23 to hear arguments on the CEC report of April 27 in which CBI investigation was recommended for theft of iron ore from Belekere port allegedly involving business houses.