Karnataka okays Centre’s proposal on continuation of mining activities on tailing dumps in Kolar


PTI, Jun 20, 2024, 7:32 PM IST

Bengaluru: Karnataka cabinet on Thursday gave its approval to a Union government proposal on continuation of mining activities on 13 tailing dumps attached to Bharat Gold Mines Limited in Kolar district, while seeking the transfer of 2,330 acres of the defunct company for its proposed industrial township there.

Briefing reporters after a cabinet meeting, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister H K Patil said: “as a special permission of the state government is required as per the MMDR act, the cabinet has granted its approval.”

“The cabinet has given its approval for the central government’s proposal to continue the mining activities in 13 tailing dumps area of 1,003.4 acre, at the inactive Bharat Gold Mines Limited’s (BGML) mining area at KGF in Kolar district, under MMDR (Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Amendment) act’s section 17,” he said.

If mining activities are started using these tailing dumps, naturally it will generate jobs, Patil said, pointing out that the state government has already asked the Centre for 2,330 acre land in the area for establishing an industrial township there.

Further noting that BGML, till 2022-23, had to pay Rs 75,24,88,025 as arrears to Karnataka, he said: “we will be requesting the Government of India to pay, or else, as we have asked them for the land, they may ask us to consider the amount for the land in kind — like exchange.”

Meanwhile, the cabinet authorised Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to decide on the dates for holding the monsoon session of the state legislature. “It is likely to be for two weeks,” the Minister said.

The government has also mandated the placing portraits of B R Ambedkar along with Mahatma Gandhi during celebration of Constitution Day, Independence Day and Republic Day.

“During the celebration of Constitution Day, Independence Day and Republic Days, Mahatma Gandhi’s portrait is usually placed, from hereon B R Ambedkar’s portrait should also be compulsorily placed. It will be in all places where celebrations are held,” Patil said.

Other cabinet decisions include administrative approval for the construction of a new outpatient block at the K R Hospital campus in Mysuru at an estimated cost of Rs 75 crore, free power and water facilities to all 46,829 government schools and 1,234 PU colleges at an estimated cost of Rs 29.19 crore, and Rs 2.37 crore for implementation of personality development programme for students at residential schools under social welfare development department in association with Rotary International-Bengaluru.

The cabinet has also given its consent to take the help of women self help groups in recovery of property tax and water bill dues in different urban local bodies of the state. The property tax dues are to the tune of Rs 1,860.17 crore, the Minister said.

It was also decided to give in principle approval for declaring 33 units of the Directorate of Civil Rights Enforcement in the state as “special police stations”, and they will get the status of police stations in dealing with SC/ST atrocities cases.

Stating that the purpose of this is to reduce the workload of police stations, the Minister said discussions were also held regarding approval of 450 posts for managing and working these stations.

The cabinet has authorised the Chief Minister to form a sub-committee regarding issues faced by the Universities in the state, including staff shortage.

“When the cabinet discussed giving Rs 279 crore for six universities, concerns were raised about vacancies in old established universities of the state, and also regarding salary and pension issues there, along development and technology import. The cabinet has requested the Chief Minister to constitute a cabinet sub-committee to find solutions for them,” he said.

Approval was also given for 7,110 km of rural roads at an estimated cost of Rs 5,190 crore, under the ‘Pragati Path’ scheme with external assistance.

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