Mining around KRS Banned
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Mining around KRS Banned

January 8, 2024

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has imposed a ban on all forms of mining and quarrying activities within a 20-km radius of the historic Krishna Raja Sagar (KRS) Dam in Mandya district.

The verdict was delivered by a Division Bench this morning comprising Chief Justice Prasanna B. Varale and Justice Krishna S. Dixit. The petition was filed by one C.G. Kumar, a landowner from Chinakurali village in Pandavapura taluk,  Mandya district.

“Mining near the Dam will have serious consequences. The KRS Dam has historical value. The Maharaja of Mysore and Sir M. Visvesvaraya have immensely contributed to the Dam that was built for public welfare. A scientific survey of KRS Reservoir has been ordered as its safety is important. Who will be responsible if the Dam is endangered? Three States are fighting for the water of River Cauvery and no State has come forward to conserve and protect the Dam. Are you aware of the problems if anything happens to the Dam? We will not allow any dangerous activity here,” the Court observed.

Kumar had contested the restriction imposed by Mandya  Deputy Commissioner in May 2023, prohibiting the use of land for mining. Adjudicating the case, the High Court said that the ban will remain in force until the completion of a comprehensive study conducted by experts, in accordance with the provisions outlined in the Dam Safety Act of 2021.

The Court has directed authorities to carry out this study without specifying a strict deadline, allowing flexibility based on the study’s progress and feasibility. The Bench took cognisance of possible danger to the KRS Dam due to mining activities within a 20-km radius and observed that loud noise was heard many times near the Dam and the structure was already in trouble.

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The ban extends to all mining activities, even those for which permissions were previously granted by Government authorities, already operational activities, or activities sanctioned by prior High Court orders in earlier legal proceedings.

The Bench acknowledged that in previous legal proceedings, it had permitted mining activities within the 20-km radius of the Dam. However, this decision was made without awareness of the Dam Safety Act of 2021 and the safety measures mandated under this legislation.

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