Ask lease holders to restore mined area by re-grassing: SC to govt

New Delhi, Jan 8 (PTI) Noting that mining results in complete elimination of grass, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the government to impose the condition on lease holders that they will have to restore the mined area by re-grassing it after ceasing operations.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked the Centre to devise appropriate methods to ensure compliance of this condition.

'We see no reason why the area which has been mined should not be restored so that grass and other vegetation including trees can grow in the mining area for the benefit of animals.

'We are of the view that this can be achieved by directing the Union of India to impose a condition in the mining lease and a similar condition in the environmental clearance and the mining plan to the effect that the mining lease holders shall, after ceasing mining operations, undertake re-grassing the mining area and any other area which may have been disturbed due to their mining activities and restore the land to a condition which is fit for growth of fodder, flora, fauna etc,' the bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, said.

The court said this condition shall be in addition to those imposed for achieving the same purpose under the mine closure plan.

'This condition shall not be imposed in derogation of any conditions which are already in force. The Union of India will report the action taken within a period of three weeks from today,' the bench said.

The court was hearing a plea filed by NGO Common Cause against large-scale illegal mining across the country. PTI PKS MNL RKS PKS ABH ABH