Ensure there is no illegal mining near KIA, HC tells Karnataka government

The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday directed the State government to ensure that no illegal mining activities are carried out at Sadahalli stone quarry, which is surrounded by several residential layouts near Kempegowda International Airport.

A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum issued the direction while hearing a petition filed by Ramabadran Veera Raghavan and five others, including 71-year-old former City Police Commissioner S. Mariswamy, who are residing in the residential townships at Sadahalli and Chowdenahalli villages in Devanahalli taluk.

The petitioners had sought a direction to the government to revoke all the mining licences given for quarrying at Sadahalli and ban quarrying activity in the area as the quarry is surrounded by the two villages and residential townships such as Hollywood Town, Swiss Town, and Jade Town where retired senior citizens, including the petitioners, live.

It was pointed out in the petition that stone quarrying activities at Sadahalli quarry were stopped a few years ago by not renewing mining licences following complaints from the public. Later, illegal mining activities started and the same were stopped with the intervention of the Lokayukta.

The petitioners pointed out that they gave representations to the authorities against resuming quarrying activities in November 2020 when they came to know about the renewal of mining licences. Though no action was taken based on their representation, the petitioners said that mining activities were halted in view of COVID-19, but have now begun again.

Questioning the grant of permission for mining in an area surrounded by residential layouts, the petitioners complained that dust from quarrying would cause serious health problems to the residents of the two villages and the townships, besides affecting aircraft operations. The petitioners have also questioned how mining activities could be permitted at Sadahalli, which is an integral part of the city as it is comes under the jurisdiction of the Bengaluru City Police Commissionerate.

The Bench adjourned further hearing while directing the government to file its response to the petition.

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