The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on Thursday reiterated its stand that no new mining leases should be granted in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts unless rehabilitation plans for the existing leases were executed.
The committee also maintained that the combined iron ore production from the mines should not exceed 30 million metric tonnes. It is imperative that any new mining lease should be considered only after the reclamation and rehabilitation plans (R&R) of the existing mining leases are successfully implemented and based on the existing infrastructure facilities and carrying capacity of the area, grant/operation of new mining lessee in an environmentally sustainable basis is found to be feasible and in public interest.
The Special Bench is likely to take up the CEC’s report on April 13. The matter has been adjourned to enable the parties to respond to the report.
The committee, in its report, noted the representation by Samaj Parivartana Samudaya, a non-governmental organisation, challenging ‘A’ category classification awarded to lease holder, R Praveen Chandra, who also held another lease, alleging that the directors of these two companies were close relatives of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.
“Praveen Chandra, the lessee, has made two payments, one of Rs 2.5 crore to M/s Bhagat Homes Pvt Ltd and the other of Rs 3.5 crore to M/s Davalagiri Property Developers Private Ltd and which are shown in the balance sheets of these two companies. The directors of these two companies are close family members/relatives of the then chief minister of Karnataka. The matter needs to be investigated in public interest. The petitioner has requested the CEC to take up this matter suo motu based on this Court’s order dated 23.9.2011,” the committee report said.
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