K'taka High Court suggests nationalisation of mining

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Bangalore, Aug 7 (UNI) The Karnataka High Court today suggested formulation of policy to bring in nationalisation of mining and stoppage of mining activities in all forest areas to protect environment.

"State and Centre may also consider the possibilities of nationalising the Mining industry so that private profit motive does not come in the way of protecting environment. Stop mining activities in forest area", he said disposing of a petition.

Quashing Karnataka Government Notification dated 15-3-1953 granting mining license in five Districts in the State, Justice D V Shylendra Kumar said that mining activities should be totally avoided in forest area.

He said that Government should make scientific and consciousness evolution before granting mining license in forest areas.

"The Government should always make a clear distinction between forest areas and non-forest areas while granting mining lease and awareness should be created on Reserved forest Act," he said.

The State government had neglected both Karnataka Forest Act 1963 and Centre's Forest Conservation Act 1983 while granting license, the judge observed.

The Government was directed not to embark on granting any new mining lease in forest area in the state.

The Judge said that State and Central Government may consider drafting a suitable legislation for conservation of minerals, if not in all the areas but at least in forest areas. Proper guidelines should be formulated and the Government should not yield to gains, he said in his verdict.

The court quashed the Government Notification of 15-3-2003 in which mining license were granted in 36 blocks of Bellary, Bangalore Rural, Kolar, Mandya and Mysore Districts.

The notification was challenged by MSPL Ltd Hospet which alleged that the government had shown discrepancy while granting licenses.

UNI MSP RS SKB1936

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