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The Supreme Court on Thursday said it cannot be swayed by emotions or public protests in directing closure of polluting industries but have to go strictly by law in deciding demands for closing down Sterlite Industries in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district.

A bench of justices A K Patnaik and H L Gokhale wondered whether courts can intervene and direct closure even after the authorities like the pollution control board had granted the clearance.

Uncertainty over revival of mining activity in Goa in near future is forcing barge operators to scout for new locations outside the state.

This is evident from the steady flow of applications the Department of Ports, which is authorised to register and regulate vessels, is receiving from barge owners seeking NOC to move out of the coastal state. Vessels that used to do brisk business by ferrying ore from jetties to harbours when mining trade flourished in the state are now looking for business in states like Maharashtra and Gujarat.

PANAJI, 11 OCT: Uncertainty over revival of mining activity in Goa in near future is forcing barge operators to scout for new locations outside the state.

Five mining leases with a combined capacity of 2.56 mt are waiting for final approval to restart mining in Bellary & Chitradurga districts

The resumption of iron ore mining in Karnataka is likely to be delayed as none of the Category A mines is able to secure all statutory approvals stipulated by the Supreme Court. The apex court had lifted ban on 18 Category A mines to resume mining subject to fulfilment of stringent conditions in its order passed on September 3. The order followed the acceptance of a report of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), which had recommended relaxation of the prohibition as they had done the least harm to the environment.

At the e-auctions held on October 5 for 1.14 mn tonnes of iron ore, buyers showed interest to buy barely 160,000 tonnes

Even though steel mills are facing acute shortage of raw materials for their blast furnaces, they showed no urgency to buy iron ore at the recent electronic auctions (e-auctions) held exclusively for the ore by state-owned NMDC Ltd. At the e-auctions held on October 5 for about 1.14 million tonnes (mt) of iron ore, buyers showed interest to buy barely 160,000 tonnes, about 14 per cent of the stock.

‘The moment case is resolved in SC, it will be returned to farmers’

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said the land at the disputed site at Singur belonged to the West Bengal government and not to the Tatas, which unsuccessfully sought to set up a small car factory there. Addressing a public rally at Nimtauri in Purba Medinipur district, she said: “There is a [Supreme] Court case pending on the issue and the moment it is resolved, we will return the land to farmers as promised,” adding her government was also extending them help.But Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Surya Kanta Mishra questioned her claim.

Mumbai London-listed Vedanta’s iron ore mining arm in India, Sesa Goa, is likely to produce only a third of its fiscal 2012-13 production target of 15 million tonne from Goa as the company faces a lengthy spell of non-production in the state.

In September, the Goa government first announced a ban on iron ore mining due to environmental concerns raised by the Justice MB Shah commission. However, on October 5, the Supreme Court extended the ban for a further one month till the Central Empowered Committee submitted its report.

JAIPUR: The recommendation of the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to increase safety zones (eco-sensitive zones) around wildlife sanctuaries and national parks from 100 meters to 2 km from the park's boundary has not come as a shock. Given the current scenario, this would not make any difference.

The note, prepared by CEC member secretary M K Jiwrajka, and submitted to the SC, has categorized Protected Areas (PAs) in four groups and the safety zone to be notified thereon. It suggests that parks above 500 sq km will be under Category-A and its safety zone will be 2 km from boundary. Similarly, for Category-B (between 200 sq km & 500 sq km) the safety zone may be 1km from boundary.

Apex court guidelines on forest clearance violated

Bandipora: In a brazen violation to the Supreme Court (SC) guidelines, a private company in league with the Border Roads Organizations (BRO) project Beacon's officials and forest department has set up a stone crusher in the dense forests of Bandipora. The Company is run by the sons of the top politicians of ruling party. The stone crusher has come up adjacent to the forest land leased out to the BRO through a State Cabinet decision in 2009.

Goa followed Karnataka on Friday when the Supreme Court imposed a complete ban on the mining activities as well as transportation of iron and manganese ore in the state till further orders.