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The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Karnataka government to consider and take a decision on the applications for mining leases within a month.

Bhubaneswar The Orissa government’s decision to recover Rs 57,907 crore from 27 mining lessees for extracting minerals in excess of the approved plan has upset the state mining sector. Many in the mining industry and experts have expressed their surprise over the state government’s action.

“The decision is illegal,” said Ashok Parija, former president of Bar Council of India. Parija said the extraction of minerals in excess of mining plan is not illegal, terming the notice served under Section 21(5) of the MMDR Act 1957 and fines imposed as not correct.

The Supreme Court today said it was worried about the “underlying dynamics”, with steel manufacturers pitching for resumption of mining operations in Karnataka instead of lease holders of iron ore mines.

A special Forest Bench, headed by Justice Aftab Alam, said despite the lease holders of iron ore mines having zero production, they were not seeking relief, but steel manufacturers were.

New Delhi The Supreme Court has stayed the proceedings before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on the issue related to the grant of environmental clearance to Monnet Ispat and Energy’s integrated steel and power plant in Chhattisgarh.

A bench headed by Justice GS Singhvi also issued notice to Jan Chetna, an NGO on whose plea the Delhi high court transferred the case to the green tribunal. The NGO had sought quashing of the environmental clearance given by the ministry to Monnet Ispat in December 2007 on the grounds that the government had ignored the objections raised by the people living in the area.

Firms must shell out part of earnings for reclamation, rehab works

The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) is likely to place its Social and Ecological Development Plan for restoring the environment and human habitations in the mining devastated districts of Bellary, Chitradurga and Tumkur, before the Supreme Court on November 2. If the apex court gives its nod, Rs 30,000 crore will be spent over 10 to 15 years for improving the living conditions of the people as well as restoring the environment in 130 villages located in the buffer zone of nine taluks in these districts

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.

The menace of illegal mining continues in Alwar. A 40-year-old labourer was buried alive at an illegal mine when debris came sliding upon him at Balaheda village in Bandikui area on Friday. According to SHO Bandikui, Rohitash Devanda, some people were involved in illegal mining in forest area near Balaheda village. The mishap occurred around 2 pm.

"We have come to know that debris from a higher point on a hill came sliding upon a labourer - Mangya Ram Kumhar - and two others Dhanna Kumar (35) and Nemichand (33)," said the officer. He added that the police were not informed immediately. Some locals took the victims out of the debris and rushed them to a private hospital.

AHMEDABAD: The inspection of Adani Power Ltd (APL) and Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) by a special committee of Ministry of Environment and Forest is likely to begin in Kutch from October 29.

A five-member team headed by Sunita Narain was formed by the ministry last month after allegations of violation of environmental and coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) norms were leveled against these two companies by a local fishermen's association - Machhimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS) and another NGO named Kheti Vikas Sewa Trust (KVST).

The high court at Jabalpur on Friday removed a stay of more than seven years on a lower court’s order of summons to Dow Chemicals in the US on the Bhopal gas disaster of November 1984.

The gas, kiling thousands, leaked from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. Dow later acquired Union Carbide. In January 2005, the chief judicial magistrate in Bhopal had issued an order of summons on Dow Chemical Company in the US, to produce Carbide officials. On an appeal filed by Dow’s Indian subsidiary, the order was stayed by the HC in March of that year. On Friday, that stay was removed and an order issued to summon Dow in the US (Carbide was merged into it in 2001).

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government is seriously contemplating to revive the old agreement with Australian mining giant Rio Tinto for undertaking mining activities in the State.