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Decision follows Supreme Court order banning mining operations in the district
The government has decided not to consider any integrated steel plants or iron-ore projects that depend on raw material mined from Bellary, Tumkur and Chitradurga districts in Karnataka for environment clearance. The decision follows a Supreme Court order that banned the mining operations in these three districts in July this year.
The ban came after a report of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), an advisor to the court on forest related issues, said that illegal mining has caused irreversible damage to the environment in Bellary. It said nearly 45 per cent of the green cover around Bellary may have been lost. Another report by former Lokayukta of Karnataka Justice N Santosh Hegde revealed that between April 2006 and July 2010 the state lost Rs 16,085 crore due to illegal mining. The report indicted the then chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and tourism and revenue ministers Gali Janardhan Reddy and Gali Karunakara Reddy in the scam. While Yeddyurappa had to step down as CM, the Reddy brothers are facing a CBI enquiry.
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