Giving a major relief to the Reddy brothers, the Supreme Court has allowed mining in Obulapuram mines in the reserve forests bordering Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
A Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B.S. Chauhan allowed mining operations within 150 metres of the border.
This order was passed on the Andhra Pradesh government's appeal against an order of the Andhra Pradesh High Court allowing mining by the Obulapuram Mining Company.
The Supreme Court earlier stayed mining activities and ordered a survey by the Survey of India (SoI.)
The SoI, in its report, alleged discrepancies and overlapping in the lease sketches of six Obulapuram mines, including three belonging to the Reddy brothers. It suggested that the entire lease sketches be reviewed and that no mining be allowed during the demarcation work.
On Monday, the Bench said mining would be permitted only in the undisputed areas of the mining leases. Mining must be stopped if the SoI so suggested for demarcation of the boundary between the two States. The Bench asked the SoI to complete the demarcation within two months.
The court asked Karnataka to appoint officials from the Forest and Mining departments to assist the committee appointed by it in boundary demarcation.