The Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee today inspected mining areas of nine firms in Ramghad forest range in the district to ascertain whether illegal mining was being carried out.

The three member team, headed by P V Jayakrishnan, inspected mining maps and other records, official sources said.

The Committee will leave for Bangalore later today and is expected to meet the Chief Secretary and officials of mining department tomorrow.

The CEC will submit its report to the Supreme Court by the first week of April.

Following a petition filed by “Samaj Parivartana Samudaya”, the Supreme Court had on February 25 asked CEC to submit a report on alleged illegal mining in Karnataka in six weeks.

The CEC held its first hearing in Delhi on March 10 and based on the deliberations, had sent a nine-page questionnaire to the State government on 14 points.

On March 25, the CEC held a meeting with Karnataka Chief Secretary S V Ranganath and sought details of the steps taken to curb alleged illegal mining in mineral-rich Bellary district.