New Delhi, May 10 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday gave permission to the Reddy brothers to mine in undisputed areas, but said it should not be within 150 metres of the Karnataka border.
Janardhan Reddy and his brother Karunakara Reddy, both ministers in Karnataka Government, are facing allegations of illegal mining of iron ores by encroaching upon a large chunk of forest land in the area causing huge damage to the environment.
Earlier, the apex court had appointed a Survey of India (SoI) panel to conduct a detailed mapping of the three mines of the Reddy brothers. The SoI submitted its report, saying mining should not be allowed till a fresh demarcation of the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border is complete.
The SoI panel had given its nod to Reddy's 68.5-hectare iron ore mine, asserting that there was no major encroachment. The panel said that of the 68.5 hectares, only 66 hectares could be mined.
The remaining 2.5 hectares were set aside for road construction. he panel found the Reddys mining all 68.5 hectares.
The apex court had on March 22 suspended the Reddy brothers" mining operations in Andhra Pradesh and ordered a survey team to examine the allegations and submit an interim report within two weeks.
The apex court had asked the survey team to monitor the six mines on the Andhra-Karnataka border - three of which belong to the Reddys - to check whether or not they encroached on forestland.
Tumti Iron Ore owner Tapal Ganesh had filed a police complaint in 2006 alleging that the Reddy brothers were encroaching on his mine and later filed a petition in the Supreme Court in 2009. (ANI)