New Delhi: After Bellary, mining operation in its two adjoining areas are facing the threat of being suspended by the Supreme Court as its expert panel Friday recommended the halting of extraction of iron ores in Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka.
A three-judge forest bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia sought a response of the Centre and the state government on the recommendation of the Central Empowered Committee which said mining operation is going on in a "reckless" and environmentally unsustainable manner with the prime objective of over exploitation of iron ore for short term private gains.
The Committee, in its latest report submitted to the apex court, said there was loss of forest land due to illegal mining of iron ore in 2678 hectare in Tumkur and Chitradurga which witnessed illegal mining and excessive production compared to the size of lease.
"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 said.
The report gave findings of about 55 mining leases in Tumkur and about 18 mining leases in 687 hectare of which 500 hectare lies in the forest land in Chitradurga.
The CEC report about Tumkur said that "during the site visit a number of mines overburdened and working pits were outside the leased area. The construction of the road without approval has led to loss of forest cover".