No objection to resuming mining in Ballari reserve forest area: AP to SC

In a big relief to Karnataka’s former tourism minister Gali Janardana Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh government on 9 August informed the Supreme Court that it has no objection to the resumption of iron ore mining in Bellary reserve forest by the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC).

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  9 Aug 2022 12:00 PM GMT
No objection to resuming mining in Ballari reserve forest area: AP to SC

Amaravati: In a big relief to Karnataka's former tourism minister Gali Janardana Reddy, the Andhra Pradesh government on 9 August informed the Supreme Court that it has no objection to the resumption of iron ore mining in Bellary reserve forest by the Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC).

The Obulapuram Mining Company is owned by Mr. Janardhan Reddy.

Following SC's decision, the relationship between Mr. Janardhan Reddy and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy has come under criticism.

Earlier, Mr. Janardhan Reddy had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking permission to resume mining activities.

In March 2010, the Supreme Court ordered the suspension of OMC mining in the Anantapur district following allegations of mining in the forest area which was beyond the mining lease area. As the mining area is on the borders of AP and Karnataka, the Supreme Court asked the states to decide the boundaries and ordered OMC not to carry out mining till the marking of the lease area.

The Central Empowered Committee had done a comprehensive study on the mining activities. The committee report determined that mining was done beyond the mining lease areas and recommended the resumption of mining with heavy fines for encroachment of the lease area.

AP and Karnataka informed the court that the boundary dispute had ended in July last year and that the boundaries had been settled as per the report of the Surveyor General of India.

Obulapuram Mining Company has sought permission to resume mining as the issue of mining lease area along state boundaries has been resolved. When the opinion of the state government was sought, the AP government said that it had no objection.

It is reported that the Karnataka state government has once again scrutinized every lease.

OMC's violations

The report by the Central Empowered Committee in April 2011 detailed OMC's violations.

· It was revealed that there were no boundaries anywhere in the mining lease areas.

· Dumping was done in the reserve forest area.

· Boundary pillars were removed and the mining area expanded.

· The mining lease was increased from 12 to 17 years illegally.

· Mining activities were done without forest permits.

· Roads were constructed in the forest area to smuggle iron ore.

· The amount of iron ore moved is higher than the amount shown in the calculations.

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