A total of 18 agreements signed but none has materialised so far

Converted land will remain non-agricultural even if the project fails

The monitoring committee constituted by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court on Friday gave its consent to three mining firms, which operated in Bellary and Chitradurga, to resume mining.

Official sources said the committee comprising three members - H R Srinivasa, Director, Department of Mines & Geology, Dipak Sarmah, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, and U V Singh, Chief Conservator of Forest - held a meeting in Bangalore where the final clearance was given to the three firms. The decision taken by panel will be placed before the CEC.

Kerala-based IPS officer’s wife accused of encroaching and illegally felling trees in Kodagu

The Forest department has requested the Advocate General to file a memo before the High Court to refer the case of encroachment of 151.03 acres of land at Kopatti village in the Patti Ghat reserve forest in Kodagu district to the Green Bench. The department has been making futile efforts for the last 19 years to the retrieve the land from the wife of an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from Kerala. Referring the case to the Green Bench is expected to expedite the case.

Iron ore miners are contesting the levy of a forest development tax by the forest department in Karnataka, but the levy has been incredibly beneficial for the exchequer’s coffers.

Selling Karnataka’s forest produce like grass, amla, bark, lac, honey, silk cocoons and bamboo to industries attracts a 12 per cent forest development tax or FDT. Forest officials also levy the tax on the mining of iron ore from reserve forest areas, which happens in Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur districts of Karnataka.

Is diverting Yettinahole stream to bring water to dry districts the answer? At last, the State Government seems to be waking up to the hardship faced by the people of Chikkaballapur and Tumkur districts due to non-availability of drinking water.