Bellary: The days of mines operating in the vicinity of monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) may be numbered as  the Supreme Court has asked for a report on the damage caused to them by mining operations to be submitted to the state government within nine months.  The government has been given a deadline of two months to act on the report.

The court’s order came on a PIL filed by Hospet advocate K. Guruprasad Rao for protecting the 500-year old Sri Jambunatheshwara temple from the blasting operations of a nearby mine.

A bench comprising  Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai  not only prohibited mining in a 1 km radius of the Vijayanagar era temple  but also directed the committee it had appointed to assess the damage,  to undertake a similar exercise for other monuments under threat from mining.

Following its inspection of the Sri Jambunatheshwara temple, the  court-appointed expert committee had recommended closure of the mining leases operated in its vicinity  and implementation of the Mine Closure Plan  to repair  the damage caused. The court said the state should create a corpus fund of Rs.3,43,19,160  to carry out the conservation plan.

Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle

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