Central panel allows manganese ore mining in Ballari, Vijayanagara 

Recently, due to increased mining activity, an ASI protected monument, the Kumaraswamy temple in Sandur, was damaged.
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)
Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

BALLARI: The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has agreed to allow manganese ore mining in undivided Ballari district. The digging contract was for 2.86 lakh tonnes, and has now been raised to 5.82 lakh tonnes. Manganese is an important raw material in the production of steel, and manganese ore mining is expected to help increase production in the region.

Recently, the Supreme Court ordered relaxation of mining in Karnataka, including undivided Ballari district. It also extended mining capacity to 37 lakh tonnes, from 24 lakh tonnes. But activists have demanded that officials look into operations to avoid illegal mining in Ballari and Vijayanagara districts.

As per officials from the Mining and Geology department, the Supreme Court has given the green signal for manganese ore mining in Ballari district. “A private company will begin mining soon. As per the earlier tender, only 2.86 lakh tonnes was allowed, but the CEC has agreed to increase it to 5.82 lakh tonnes,” said an official.

“Manganese is an important substance of iron production. The SC has allowed and increased mining extraction recently. It’s been almost 12 years since mining activity in Ballari was restricted. Each mining job will be under observation, and conducted according to government guidelines,” the official added.

An activist pointed out that mining is part of the region, but illegal mining has made undivided Ballari district infamous. “Our main fear is illegal mining and extraction. Officials should monitor mining activities on a regular basis. We have already seen corruption among officials in Ballari a few years ago. 

Recently, due to increased mining activity, an ASI protected monument, the Kumaraswamy temple in 
Sandur, was damaged. This happened as mining companies crossed their restricted zone and started digging close to the monument. Such mistakes should not be allowed,” the activist said.

Related Stories

No stories found.

X
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com