Proposed mining at Devadari Forest Area: State Government halts handing over forest lands to KIOCL
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Proposed mining at Devadari Forest Area: State Government halts handing over forest lands to KIOCL

June 25, 2024

Bengaluru: Amid protests from environmentalists, the State Government has stopped the transfer of 401.5761 hectares for forest land to Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited (KIOCL) for iron ore mining at Devadari Forest Area in Sandur taluk of Ballari, said Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment Eshwar Khandre, amid protests from environmentalists.

This comes days after the Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Steel, H.D. Kumaraswamy, had directed officials of KIOCL to commence mining activities in the Devadari forest area.

Speaking to media persons on Sunday, Eshwar Khandre said: “If the permission is given for the mining, 99,330 trees, including sandalwood, teak, bamboo among others, will be cut down and destroyed. If the dense forest is destroyed, the problem of soil erosion and flooding will arise.”

Further, he mentioned that it had been decided in meeting chaired by the then Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) on Mar. 28, 2016 not to allow mining activity in the proposed area which is located just 19 kms from Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary.

Environmentalists had raised concerns about the potential ecological impact of mining in the Sandur forests, fearing it could lead to the felling of approximately 99,000 trees.

I did not approve mining: Kumaraswamy

Meanwhile, Union Minister for Steel and Heavy Industries H.D. Kumaraswamy has claimed that he was not the one who had decided to allow mining in Devadari Forest Area adding that the then State                                                Government had approved the project much earlier.

Speaking to media persons in Channapatna on Sunday, Kumaraswamy said: “The State Government has been opposing the project holding grudge against me. Propaganda is being spread to create anxiety among the people while I have only given approval for the company to continue its operations,” he added.


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