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Central government has approved the mining of manganese ore in Ballari, Vijayanagara

Mining scam

A decision has been made by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to permit manganese ore mining in the Ballari district. The original 2.86 lakh tonnes of the excavating contract have been increased to 5.82 lakh tonnes. A substantial amount of manganese ore is likely to be mined in this area since manganese is a critical component of steel manufacture.

The extraction of manganese ore in the Ballari district has been approved by the Supreme Court, according to department officials in the Mines and Geology division. “A private firm will shortly start mining. Only 2.86 lakh tonnes were permitted in the original tender, but the CEC has approved raising that number to 5.82 lakh tonnes,” according to an official.

Several mining restrictions have been imposed by the Supreme Court in Karnataka in recent years, particularly in the unincorporated Ballari area of the state. Also, it increased its mining capacity from 24 lakh tonnes to 37 lakh tonnes. In spite of this, environmentalists have asked the authorities to investigate activities to prevent illegal mining in the districts of Ballari and Vijayanagara.

Mining

“Manganese is a crucial ingredient in the synthesis of iron. Recently, the SC has escalated and permitted mining extraction. Since Ballari’s mining operation was regulated, it has been almost 12 years. Each mining operation would be monitored and carried out in accordance with regulations established by the government,” the official said.

One activist noted that mining is present in the area, but Ballari district, which is still unincorporated, is notorious for its illegal mining. “Illegal mining and extraction are what we fear most. Authorities should routinely keep an eye on mining operations. A few years ago, we witnessed governmental corruption in Ballari.

The Kumaraswamy temple in Sandur, an ASI-protected landmark, suffered damage recently due to increased mining activity. Mining companies began digging near the monument after crossing their prohibited zone. Such errors shouldn’t be tolerated,” the activist mentioned.

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