BENGALURU: The first Cabinet meeting of the Congress government headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at Kalaburagi on Friday decided to submit a proposal to the Supreme Court through the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to auction 15 ‘C’ category mines in the districts of Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumakuru.
The CEC, set up by the apex court, had conducted a survey of the mining areas and given various suggestions to the government. The CEC, in its report to the Supreme Court, had identified 51 mines with maximum illegalities in three districts. The State government would auction six mines between December 2014 and January 2015 subject to the approval of the apex court. The auction of the other nine mines would be taken up during April–May 2015.
The Cabinet decided to take up restoration of ecology and environment in Ballari, Chitradurga and Tumakuru districts, which have been affected due to rampant illegal mining. The Cabinet approved a Rs. 2,000-crore proposal in this regard, which would be submitted to the Supreme Court for its clearance.
The proposal in to strengthen infrastructure such as transport, communication network, environment and forests, drinking water system, education, skill training, and agriculture-related programmes.
The plan would be implemented through Karnataka Mining Restoration Corporation. High priority will be given to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes communities in the programme.
The Cabinet approved granting mining lease to an extent of 6.38 hectares (15.31 acres) to Hutti Gold Mines Company in Raichur district.
The Cabinet also approved providing the State government’s guarantee to Karnataka State Industrial Development Corporation to raise Rs. 27 crore for its working capital.
Land for IIT
The Cabinet decided to request the Union Human Resource Development Ministry, which is planning to set up an Indian Institute of Technology at Dharwad through a PPP mode, to pay 50 per cent of guidance value to acquire 61.06 acres of land for the purpose.
Protest cane growers
Just as the Cabinet meeting was going on, sugarcane growers staged a protest outside the Mini-Vidhana Soudha pressing for fulfilment of their demands.
The BJP government headed by B.S. Yeddyurappa had revived the practice of holding Cabinet meetings outside Bengaluru. Five Cabinet meetings were held during the BJP government’s tenure (2008 to 2012).