57 mines booked for violating forest dept norms

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Bellary, Nov 7, 2013, DHNS : The Forest department has booked 57 mining companies, including the State-owned Mysore Minerals Limited (MML) and National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), for carrying out mining operations in violation of the Forest department rules.

Following the reports submitted by the Lokayukta and the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC), the Forest department filed cases against the 57 mining companies accused of extracting ore illegally and damaging the forest land by not disposing of the mining waste in the prescribed manner.

Manikantan, the district forest officer, told Deccan Herald, “The Lokayukta and the CEC had filed the reports after inspecting the mines operating in the vicinity of the forest area. Based on the two reports, we have started filing cases against the violators in the past six months.”

The Forest department has booked even the state-owned companies MML and NMDC under the relevant Act. Cases were also slapped against the companies owned by former minister Janardhana Reddy and Hospet MLA Anand Singh.

Cases against 28 mining companies were filed based on the Lokayukta report, while the other 29 companies were booked, taking cue from the CEC report.

Eighteen of the 57 mining companies are located in Sandur taluk, while 10 companies accused of violating forest norms are based in Hospet taluk.

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