The Supreme Court has not approved the Comprehensive Environment Plan for Mining Impact Zone(CEPMIZ) and not released funds for implementation of the project in mining-affected areas of Ballari, Tumakuru and Chitradurga districts in Karnataka, Minister for Mines and Geology Achar Halappa Basappa informed the Legislative Assembly on March 18.
The Minister said the government has been making continuous efforts to obtain approval of the Supreme Court for implementation of the project and release of funds of 24,996.71 crore for 13 different sectors, including forest, environment, drinking water, health, housing, and welfare of the underprivileged. The approval of the plan from the Supreme Court and release of funds are awaited, he said.
The plan was submitted to the court on October 11, 2018.
In the plan, he said, a sum of 13,378.41 crore has been set aside for Ballari, 3,792.30 crore for Chitradurga and 2,554.05 crore for Tumakuru district.
In a reply to a question by G. Somshekar Redddy (BJP), the Minister said as per directions of the Supreme Court on March 21, 2018, a plan to mitigate hardship experienced by the community in mining-affected areas and to restore the environment in three districts was submitted to the court.
Moreover, no funds were released for the Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Corporation (KMERC) for implementation of the project. KMERC was formed as a special vehicle in 2014.
As per instructions of the Advocate General of Karnataka, eight times oral mentioning was made by the Solicitor General of India since 2020. On February 16, 2022, the Solicitor General mentioned the case before the Chief Justice of India.
The Supreme Court observed that it would consider constitution of a Special Bench to take up the matter and the interim application filed by the various parties, including Karnataka.
Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs J.C. Madhuswamy said that the government is keen on seeking the courts approval, and implementation of the project.