Mining banned near Bannerghatta park: Official

Bengaluru: After the High Court asked the Mines and Geology Department to solicit response from the quarry owners in the Bannerghatta National Park quarrying case and pass an order, the Bengaluru Urban department has said that it has issued an order prohibiting quarry/mining activity in the park’s eco-sensitive zone.

Mines and Geology Director N.S. Prasanna Kumar said, “On September 4, the replies of the petitioners were noted and an order was passed that clearly prohibits any mining and quarrying activity in the region. In the meeting it was reiterated that environmental violations have taken place in the region.”

The High Court will come up with the final concluding order on September 20. According to official sources, the petitioners may take up the matter with the Supreme Court if the HC order is not favourable to them.

Prasanna also added that at present no mining or quarrying activity was taking place in the region. The licences of five mining companies operating within one kilometre of the boundary of the national park were suspended in April, following a Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) notification that stated that no mining activity can be allowed within 10 km of the boundary of a national park.

“The petitioners have maintained that livelihoods of thousands of workers would be at stake. But we have time and again reiterated that unless the regulations of the state pollution control board and 

MoEF guidelines are followed, mining operations cannot be resumed,”  Prasanna added. 

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