Panel set up to re-allocate these mines

The State government has cancelled 51 iron ore mining leases that come under Category C to abide by a Supreme Court directive.

The court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) had, in its final report on February 3, 2012, classified mining leases into three categories — A, B, and C — based on the extent of illegalities. Following the report, the Supreme Court, on April 18, 2013, ordered cancellation of 51 leases with maximum illegalities in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts.

The cancelled mining leases include VSL Mining Company of Minister of State for Infrastructure Development Santosh Lad and Congress leader Anil Lad, and SB Minerals of the former Tourism Minister Anand Singh.

The Supreme Court had ordered re-allotment of category C mines to steel mills through a transparent process.

The State government has constituted a committee to finalise the modalities of re-allocation of these 51 mines. As many 13 mining leases, including 11 under Category A and two from Category B, have started mining operations.

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