Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has called for the setting up of a single-window system to resolve issues relating to mining lease.
Mr. Siddaramaiah on Thursday held a meeting to settle the pending issues related to the Forest Department and agencies under the Mines and Geology Department, during which he directed the Ministers concerned and officers to hold monthly meetings to resolve the issues related to forest clearance and other permissions to mining companies in the model of a single-window system.
Many cases that are pending with the Forest Department were also discussed and it was identified that the reason why they were not resolved was because mining companies did not provide alternative land for afforestation. Mr. Siddaramaiah suggested that mining companies must purchase land from farmers willing to sell their agricultural land due to elephant and other wild animal menace, and reallocate the same for afforestation.
On the issue of applications submitted to the Central government on Pravesh portal for permission to carry out mineral exploration in the State through the Government of India-owned KIOCL and MECL, he directed Department of Mines and Geology officials to discuss with these companies to rectify the objections in these applications and get quick clearances.
The Chief Minister also instructed officials to take legal advice from experts for the disposal of iron ore which was confiscated from illegal mining. It is estimated that about 2.7 million tonnes of iron ore is lying in the forest areas.
He also called for quick disposal of applications which come to the task force under the chairmanship of the Deputy Commissioners.
Mr. Siddaramaiah also stressed the need to prioritise the effective implementation of a comprehensive development plan for mining sectors and for the amendment of the Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Corporation (KMERC) bylaws.
He directed the KMERC to amend the bylaws of the corporation to make the Chief Minister the chairman of the governing body to enable it to effectively implement the action plan of the Comprehensive Development Plan for Mining Impact Zones (CEPMIZ) in mining-affected districts as approved by the Supreme Court.
During the meeting, he also took stock of the functioning of the Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Corporation.
Around 466 villages of four districts — Ballari, Vijayanagara, Chitradurga, and Tumakuru — have been declared mining-affected and the Supreme Court has sanctioned and approved an action plan with an estimated cost of ₹24,996.71 crore for the development of these villages.
As per the Supreme Court’s order, retired judge Sudarshan Reddy has been appointed as the supervising authority to oversee the approval and implementation of the projects. The authority has so far spent ₹7,634.96 crore in the four districts and 317 proposals are approved.
To quickly prepare the rest of the proposals and get approvals, the Chief Minister directed to set up an engineering cell in these four districts and prepare an action plan swiftly under the guidance of the district in-charge Minister and the Deputy Commissioner concerned.