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Saturday, August 6, 2011

KARNATAKA MINING SCAM: SC ‘no go’ to mining by private cos!

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August 6, 2011 / By S.S. NEGI, Age Correspondent, New Delhi / DC.

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to lift its ban order on iron ore mining in Bellary district of Karnataka by the private companies but permitted the central PSU, National Mineral Development Corporation to resuming it from Saturday under strict conditions for maintaining the supply to the domestic steel

industry. The top court said that the Karnataka government would charge the royalty from NMDC for the extracted iron ore at the rate of 10 per cent “per pit-head” current market rate fixed by the Indian Bureau of Mines and the revenue so generated would be used for restoration of environment and rehabilitation of affected people while making it clear that the PSU would not indulge in any export activity. A forest bench comprising Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia and Justices Aftab Alam and Swatanter Kumar, however, said that it was not taking up the report of Karnataka Lokayukta on illegal mining at this stage, saying its primary focus was on environment impact due to illegal mining.

“In order to balance the environment concerns with economic concerns and keep in mind the mandate of Article 21 of the Constitution, we are of the view that NMDC be allowed to operate its two mines with the production of one million tones from August 6. We may clarify that no part of the production will be exported,” the bench in an interim order said.

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