The Supreme Court relaxed the ceilings of iron ore mining in three districts of Karnataka on Friday.
A Bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana observed that the conservation of ecology and environment should go hand-in-hand with economic development.
The CJI said the concern of original petitioners of possible over-excavation needed to be balanced against the interests of other parties.
“Though the Coordination-cum-Empowered Committee (CEC) has recommended complete relaxation of the ceiling limit, we are not allowing that in toto,” noted the Bench.
The court raised the ceiling of 28 million metric tonnes allowed in Ballari mines to 35 million metric tonnes.
The cap for mining in Tumakuru and Chitradurga districts has also been raised from seven million metric tonnes to 15 million metric tonnes.
Earlier in May, 2022, the Apex Court had lifted ban on export of iron ore from mines in these three districts of Karnataka.
The miners were allowed by the court to sell the excavated mines through direct sale, as opposed to sales being made through e-auction earlier.
The top court of the court had imposed ban on mining in the three districts of Karnataka in 2011 over environmental degradation. It had also imposed ban on export of mines.