The Supreme Court on Friday suspended mining activities in Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka, saying it would not change its order until a proper rehabilitation programme is formed.
A three-judge forest bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia gave the order on a recommendation by its expert panel for halting extraction of iron ores in Tumkur and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka.
The apex court-appointed Central Empowered Committee had in its recommendation to the bench on August 19, said that the mining operation was going on recklessly and in an environmentally unsustainable manner with the prime objective to exploit the iron ore mines merely for short term gains.
The committee, in its report, had said there was loss of forest land due to illegal mining of iron ore in 2,678 hectare in Tumkur and Chitradurga which had been witnessing excessive, illegal mining.
"This court's July 29 order, by which the mining operations have been suspended (in Bellary), may be extended in respect of the mining leases in districts of Tumkur and Chitradurga," the report had said.
The report gave findings of nearly 55 mining leases in Tumkur and about 18 mining leases in 687 hectare, of which 500 hectare lies in the forest land of Chitradurga.