The Supreme Court has said thatKarnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde’s report on illegalmining was not enough for it to suspend mining in Chitradurga and Tumkur districts.
After a bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia ordered suspension of mining activity in Bellary district, advocate Prashant Bhushan sought a similar order for Chitradurga and Tumkur saying the Lokayukta had also reported rampant illegal mining in the two districts. When Bhushan started reading from the Lokayukta’s report, the bench asked: “Is there anything mentioned about environmental degradation in Chitradurga and Tumkur?”
Bhushan said the Lokayukta had referred to illegal mining in Bellary and said similar activity was widespread in Chitradurga and Tumkur districts. Quoting the Lokayukta’s report, Bhushan said “ill-effects of illegal mining was suffered not only by people in Bellary but also extended to those residing in the districts of Chitradurg and Tumkur.”
The bench however remained firm. “We are not going by Lokayukta’s report. Show us environmental degradation in Chitradurga and Tumkur and we will take appropriate action. There has to be a report about adverse impact on environment. Otherwise, we are not going by the report of Lokayukta or anybody,” it said.
It asked the Central Empowered Committee to conduct an environmental impact assessment of mining in Chitradurg and Tumkur and submit a report to the court in three weeks. Justice Hegde while submitting his report on illegal mining had said the SC was his only hope as the Karnataka government may not act on his report as it had indicted CM Yeddyurappa. Economic Times