New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused permission to Reddy Brothers-owned Obulapuram Mining Company to transport the minerals mined from undisputed areas in
Anantpur district in Andhra Pradesh.
Asking the Central Environment Committee (CEC) to verify whether any mining is done in forest areas, a special forest bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia also warned that even a legal mining may be stopped if it is found that mining carried out in ecology sensitive zones or forests.
"The only question for consideration is whether mining is being done in forest area or not?," the bench said.
The apex court`s direction came while hearing a plea of OMC to direct the Andhra Pradesh government to issue "mineral dispatch/transit pass" to transport the iron ore extracted from undisputed areas.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for OMC pleaded that the extracted minerals are piling up for a long period then it will be washed away.
This was opposed by Attorney General GE Vahanvati who submitted that during the mining operations, sign post and pillars were damaged and replaced, hence a fresh report by CEC is needed.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for Samaj Parivartan Samuday, an NGO, in this case alleged that 10 hectares of land that was admittedly un-allotted to any miner has completely disappeared.
OMC has contended before the apex court that although it was allowed to continue mining in undisputed areas, the Andhra Pradesh government has declined to grant "mineral dispatch/transit pass" to take its destination.
"The AP government refused to grant mineral dispatch/transit passes for transportation of iron ore extracted from the mines head to stockyard and iron ores are lying in the stockyard," said OMC in its plea.
The company further requested the Apex Court to "direct AP government to issue transport permit".