MYSORE: Mining and quarrying go on unabated within a 10-km radius of reserved forests and wildlife sanctuaries in Chamarajanagar district despite a September 6 Lok Adalat order banning 41 quarries in these areas.
Chamarajanagar DC A M Kunjappa told Express that though he wrote to Shankarnarayan, Director of the Mines and Geology Department, he got no reply.
Kunjappa said the Forest Department issued a clarification which allowed existing quarries to continue their activities. The clarification, issued by Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden Vinay Luthra on September 25, read: “The existing mining and quarrying outside the forest land, within the default 10 km of Eco Sensitive Zones may be continued with all other legal requirements.”
“I will place the matter on record before the Lok Adalat during the next hearing,” Kunjappa said.
Shankaranarayan admitted that he had received the DC’s letter. Luthra neither answered calls nor responded to SMS.
Last month, the Lok Adalat headed by Justice Narayanaswamy and member A N Yellappa Reddy, banned mining around the reserve forests, especially 41 quarries functioning around the reserve forests in Chamarajanagar district.
When contacted, Yellappa Reddy said itamounts to contempt of court. “There are Supreme Court guidelines banning mining and quarrying within 10 km of reserve forests. The Lok Adalat will check whether the government has complied with the adalat order.”