BENGALURU: With the state Mines and Geology department suspending the mining operations of five companies that fell within the buffer zone of the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP), the mining companies have filed two petitions in the Karnataka High Court praying for a stay on the government order.
The order for closure had come in the wake of a Central Government order stating that no mining or any other activity can be allowed within 10 kilometres of the boundary of a protected area in the absence of final notification of Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ).
On April 26, 2018, the department had directed for suspension of mining leases of - Kushal Stone Crushers in three survey numbers, K Ashok and Shankar – all in Shivanahalli village, Anekal taluk.
This order for suspension came in the wake of a public campaign for stoppage of stone quarrying and crushing units by various environmental groups and the state forest department writing letters to the Mines and Geology department and urging them for closure of these companies that fell in the prohibited zone.
Mining officials told The New Indian Express that they had received notices from the Karnataka High Court with two petitions filed for a stay.
Meanwhile, the Court has given the department just one day for replies, said officials and added, “The Joint survey was completed only yesterday and the report is to be filed on Thursday, when the matter was being heard on the same day. The petitioners are misleading the court by filing information that was given at the time of sanction while conveniently hiding the information that led to their closure. The important issue of ESZ matter on which the leases were closed has been conveniently hidden."
Meanwhile, environmental groups including Conservation India that started a public campaign for closure oh mining and stone quarrying in the ESZ of BNP say their continuance and blatant violation of rules will in fact result in contempt of both HC and SC orders.