Monday, August 24, 2009

Illegal mining in Goa : Panel blames select trio

The committee on mines in Goa has put the onus of illegal mining in Goa on three departments of the state which the committee said are passing the buck when it came to illegal mining in the state of Goa. The three departments are the Directorate of mines, Forest department and the Goa state Pollution control board. The first report of the committee says that if these three departments had to initiate action against the offenders, then the state of Goa would not have faced this problem of illegal mines and pollution.

Goa illegal mining

The committee observed that while the Directorate of mines followed central government rules in the enforcement, it did not take the responsibility to ensure that mining activity is not done without environmental clearance and other required permissions. The committee observed that it was the duty of the departments to close down or cancel the licences of the mines whose mining rejects and mining wastes pose a threat and damage to paddy fields, fruit bearing crops and drinking water resources and other water bodies within the vicinity of the mines

While the deemed clause was being misused by numerous mining companies, and which was being known to the concerned departments, none of them stopped this practice. The committee has now suggested to the government of Goa to pass strictures amending the state and central legislation affecting mining in the state. The committee has urged the government to stop all mining operations in the state which are carried out with or without valid lease concessions.

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