Karnataka authorities seized over 7,000 tonnes of iron ore worth over Rs4 crore in Bellary district of the state over the weekend, showing that mining companies were seeking to flout the Supreme Court order last week banning mining and transport of iron ore in the area.
On Friday a Supreme Court b ench headed by chief justice S H Kapadia had imposed a ban on iron ore mining across 11,000 hectares of Karnataka's Bellary district on concerns over environmental degradation caused by over exploitation (See: Supreme Court imposes ban on iron ore mining in Bellary)
The iron ore seized on Sunday was being illegally transported in at least 24 lorries belonging to several companies operating in the district. This came on a day when B S Yeddyurappa had to step down as Karnataka chief minister over his alleged role in illegal mining in the state.
The lorries belonged to Tomatro Mining company and Mysore Minerals in Sandur district, among others.
The raids came just days after the Supreme Court ordered suspension of mining operations in Bellary.
On Saturday night, 49 trucks carrying iron ore were seized by the Bellary district collector.
Acting on a tip-off, police conducted a raid and seized 49 trucks loaded with ore at Hallipura, Bellary Cantonment area. The ore belonged to Bellary Mining Corporation and was being transported to Maharashtra.