The Supreme Court suspended mining in 10,868 hectares in Bellary district of Karnataka. The court also said that the Ministry of Environment and Forests will come out with a report on how much Iron ore is needed for the country’s steel industry and also spell out how much is to be domestic and how much needs to be imported. The bench’s decision came after a report from the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) that said that illegal mining was not only going on in a rampant manner, but it was also causing irreversible environmental degradation.
Chief Investigator of the Bellary mining scam, U. V. Singh has said that the loss due to the Bellary mining is particularly to the forests. As many as 98 of the 148 mines are on forest land. At-least 9750 hectares of land have been lost and this does not include the area being encroached. U. V. Singh has also said that tanks and natural streams have been polluted and there is evidence of perennial rivers drying up. Mr. Singh blames the government bodies, especially the state pollution control board of completely failing in their roles to spot and fix widespread environmental damage due to mining. Ecological damage is suspected to more widespread than it appears on the surface.