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Karnataka High Court imposes ban on mining activities near KRS reservoir

IndiaKarnataka High Court imposes ban on mining activities near KRS reservoir

The Karnataka High Court, expressing grave safety concerns, issued a ban on all mining activities within a 20km radius of the Krishna Raja Sagara (KRS) dam in Mandya district.

The court expressed concern regarding the use of explosives and the potential severe threat it poses.

The ban is applicable to both existing mining licenses and those operations within the 20-km radius that had previously received permission from the high court in earlier cases. The court said that it had granted permission for mining within the 20-km radius before due to the absence of information on the safety measures mandated by the Dam Safety Act, 2021.

Additionally, the court ordered that the ban will remain in effect until the completion of a comprehensive study by experts assessing the potential threats to the dam arising from mining activities. The Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research in Dhanbad is currently conducting a dam safety survey.

In a previous hearing of the petition, the court had acknowledged the gravity of the situation, stating in its order, “As per the official information, the Krishnarajasagara reservoir supplies water for the irrigation of about 1,25,000 acres of land in the arid tracks of Mandya district.”

The court highlighted the need for a thorough examination of whether the blast activities typically associated with quarrying could potentially impact the KRS dam.

Issuing a cautionary note, the court said, “A small lapse may result in a colossal hazard. The matter involves serious questions relating to the safety of the dam in question, in the light of the provisions of the 2021 Act.”

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