DNA had carried a report on illegal mining, which was submitted to the apex court. The report recommends the cancellation of over 49 mining leases out of 166 in Karnataka.
Mining operations in Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts of Karnataka flourished because of "blatant connivance of the officials concerned and public functionaries." says the report.
"There has been all round sharp degradation of environment with all its attendant problems because of the unsatiable greed of a few," the committee observed.
Out of 166 mining leases, at least 123 mining were involved in illegal mining, reported the CEC.
The panel has divided the companies in three categories. In the category A, 45 were placed and no illegalities were found. The panel recommended that they may be allowed to resume the mining activities according to conditions.
While 72 mining leases were placed in the B Category, 10% of the lease area were found outside the sanctioned area. They have been asked to pay a penalty of Rs 5 crore per hectare of the area found to be under the illegal mining pit and Rs one crore per hectare of area for illegal mining by way of over burden dumps. Adding to that, the panel said that "mining operations may be allowed to resume after penalty decided by SC is deposited and Reclamation and Rehabilitation (R&R) plan is undertaken beside several other conditions."
Meanwhile, the panel asked to cancel the leases of the C-category companies, but recommended for retention of the entire sale proceeds of the existing stock of the iron ore of these leases.