The opinion of stakeholders was elicited to chalk out a detailed action plan for the reclamation and rehabilitation of areas ravaged by mining activities in three taluks, Ballari, Sandur and Hosapete, in the district on Tuesday.

Though the action plan, to be implemented through Karnataka Mining Environment Restoration Corporation (KMERC) was prepared, revised thrice and then submitted, it was not approved by the Supreme Court.

Therefore, the district authorities convened a meeting of the stakeholders, elected representatives and representatives of social and voluntary organisations.

A sum of Rs. 7,000 crore, being 10% of the sale proceeds of iron ore sold through e-auction set aside for the purpose, is available for implementation of the plan in the three taluks of the district.

“We want to prepare the action plan with a bottom-to-up approach,” Deputy Commissioner Ramprasath Manohar, who presided, told the meeting. K.C. Kondaiah, MLC, suggested that the plan should be comprehensive to ensure that the special funds would be fully utilised.

Allum Veerbhadrappa, MLC, underlined the need for focusing on providing potable drinking water in every habitation.

C. Somashekar, of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI), wanted the authorities to consider creating a welfare fund for those who became unemployed after the mines were closed for sometime following a Supreme Court order. “We hope to finalise the plan after discussing the proposals received and submit the same to the KMERC. In turn it would be tabled before the Central Empowered Committee for its approval before September. This time we are confident of getting the approval and start the implementation of the plan,” Mr. Ramprasath said.

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