The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Karnataka government to consider and take a decision on the applications for mining leases within a month. The 'forest bench' also directed the Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh governments to respond to the vague state borders in mining areas. A centrally empowered committee has now demarcated the areas and the state governments would file their replies to this before the next hearing.
On Friday, a bench headed by judge Aftab Alam resumed a hearing on the mining licences it had suspended last year, following allegations of widespread corruption involving politicians and mining companies. A committee set up by the court has categorised the mines into three categories. Category A mines have been allowed to resume operations, albeit with strict riders. However, category B and C mines, which caused the most damage to the environment, haven't been allowed to operate.
The court asked the state government to scrutinise their applications and take an early decision. It also stresses mining would be allowed only after if rules on reclamation and rehabilitation of forest area were followed.