Seeking permission to allow mining in Karnataka to ‘a limited extent and period’ to meet the current shortfall in iron ore, the State government on December 2 approached the Supreme Court.
The Karnataka stated before the green bench of the apex court that in 2013-14, only 18.118 million tonne (mt) would be produced and the following year 22.18 mt. This would leave a shortage of 7.5 mt against the permissible level of 30 mt. Therefore, the state wanted production capacity to be increased temporarily for two years.
The temporary permission to produce more may be balanced by reducing the production capacity for the remaining lease period. The court had appointed a Central empowered committee (CEC) to investigate and monitor the mining operations in Karnataka and other mineral-rich states.