Following a report of the centrally empowered committee of the court, India’s Supreme Court on Friday has finally suspended iron ore mining in the Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka.
The forest bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia said the fundamental right to life, which includes a clean environment, was above the right to trade in the Constitution. CJ stressed that economic development should be balanced by environmental considerations. He asked the industries to work out a rehabilitation plan and a scientific method to excavate the mines.
However, it asked for suggestions from the Attorney General and others to submit a formula to release 25 million tonnes of iron ore available for immediate use by the steel industry.
The court further directed a joint team to carry out a survey and demarcate the boundaries of the leases, as was ordered in the case of Bellary district earlier. The empowered committee will name the agency in charge of keeping the accounts of sales and royalty payable at the rate of 10 per cent of the market price.
Friday’s order followed the August 19 report of the empowered committee, which stated reckless mining in an unsustainable manner for short-term gains had affected the region’s ecology.
(sourced from BS)