The Supreme Court on Friday accepted the recommendations of a Central Empowered Committee, appointed by it, which had suggested that no new mining leases should be granted in Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka unless rehabilitation plans for the existing leases were executed.

A forest bench headed by Chief Justice S. H. Kapadia directed the implementation of Reclamation and Rehabilitation (R&R) plan in all categories of mines to start immediately.

It said the preparation, implementation and monitoring of R&R would be under the supervision of CEC.

The bench also comprising justices Aftab Alam and Swatanter Kumar asked the CEC to give suggestions with regards to disposal of stockyards.

Further the bench also asked CEC whether work could be made operationalised in the category ‘A’ mines.

In its report the CEC had distinguished mines in the area in three categories as A, B and C.

The mines in which there was least or no irregularities were categorised as ‘A’ and those with maximum illegalities as ‘C’ category.

Keywords: illegal mining

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