Mandya: In a setback to Mandya District Administration, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday quashed Mandya Deputy Commissioner (DC) S. Aswathi’s order cancelling 28 mining licences that were operational around KRS Dam in Srirangapatna taluk of the district.
However, the HC order comes only as a temporary relief to mine owners, as the Court has directed the DC to take suitable action after setting a 15-day deadline to mine owners to file their contention.
A Division Bench of the HC which heard a batch of petitions of mine operators, expressed disappointment over the DC’s action of cancelling the mine licences all of a sudden. The Court observed that before cancelling the licences, the DC should have given a 15-day time to the mine owners to file their objections and also hear their contention.
Pointing out that the authorities had failed to follow the legal process in the matter before cancelling the licences, the Court directed the DC to take a suitable action only after giving a 15-day time to the mine owners to submit their argument
Following the demands of Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambarish and several other organisations who had sought action against illegal mining and stone quarrying in the vicinity of KRS dam, which posed a threat to the stability of the Dam, DC Aswathi had ordered cancellation of 28 mining licences at the meeting of District Stone Quarrying Licensing and Regulation Authority held at Mandya on July 28, on charges of illegal quarrying and violation of norms.
Meanwhile, DC S. Aswathi, reacting to the Court order, said that the High Court’s ruling quashing her order on cancelling 28 mining licences in the district, has come to her notice. She pointed out that the Court has directed for granting a 15-day time to record the contention of mine owners and submit the same to the Court.
Maintaining that she would seek all inputs from Task Force officials concerning mining and stone quarrying, she said that all issues concerning the matter cannot be disclosed in public. She contended that the licenses were cancelled as several of the mines operated close to the Highway in violation of norms and some others did not follow the set rules and regulations.
Now the District Administration will provide to the HC all documents asked by it, in defence of the cancellation of mining licenses, she said and added that the mining licences were cancelled as there was enough proof of violations.