Karnataka High Court clearance or no, activists to fight mining at Bannerghatta

Bengaluru: In reaction to Wednesday’s High Court order of resuming the operations of 15 mining companies, whose operations were suspended in the vicinity of Bannerghatta National Park (BNP), environmental activists have now decided to take the fight against mining activities in BNP’s eco-sensitive zone to the next level.

After a long struggle of environmentalists, the Mines and Geology Department, had in April and May shut down the operations of 15 companies in the vicinity of BNP for violating environmental norms. However, the High Court on June 26 had put a stay on the notice by the department that had stayed the companies from carrying out their operations in eco-sensitive zone (ESZ).

“The SC clearly says that there should be no mining within 10 km of the park. The Mines and Geology department after studying everything shut down the quarrying operations. People are with us. We will continue to fight for the wildlife,” said Vijay Nishanth, a tree doctor.

Mines and Geology department Director Prasanna Kumar apprised Deccan Chronicle that the district officer would collect all information and after a meeting with the petitioners on July 30 and a decision will taken and the same will be submitted to the court.

“We are soliciting responses from the mining/quarry owners and based on that we will see if a field verification is necessary. The environmental clearance guidelines set up by the ministry of environment was not followed by them. The norms set up by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board were also not followed. They were simply quarrying,” the director said.

Supporting the efforts of the activists, Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who had earlier raised the issue in the Upper House of Parliament, said, “I will study the order and then support citizens approaching the Supreme Court if necessary.” 


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