Mining sector has to buckle down: panel

Industry News 2009-02-22 16:44:58

"The politically-patronaged mining sector will have to mend its ways, if the State Government seriously considers the recommendation of the high level committee which went into mining operations in the State", added Chief Conservator of Forests - Dr Shashi Kumar.

Dr Shashi Kumar further stated, the committee found several drawbacks in Goa's mining sector.

"Till now we have conducted around seven visits covering 40 sites and in few cases we have found drawbacks which we have brought to the notice of the State Government and hence they have directed the respective departments to take action", Dr Kumar further stated.

The committee in its report have found that some mines, as against the norms governed in environment clearance, has exceeded the height of mining reject dump and in some cases the drains are not properly built allowing the water to now down the paddy fields.

Dr. Kumar further added: "There are few cases where they have failed to check out conservation plan for flora and fauna. Some ofthem have made a conservation plan but it is stiff to be modified to the satisfaction of the divisional forest officer".

Talking about the action to be taken against these mines he said that though we are mandated to inspect all the mines in the State and report back, we do not have power to take collective action. "It is the duty of respective departments to the act" he said.

The committee was formed on September 29, 2008 for a period of three months where they submitted four reports after inspecting 28 mines. Later on March 5, 2009 the committee was reappointed whose tenure will cease on August 15, this year.

Kumar informed that till date the committee has submitted five reports to the State government while two are ready to go.

Director of Mines Arvind Lolienkar said that the committee has directed departments like department of mines, Goa State Pollution Control Board, and agriculture departments to initiate action against all those mines which have violated the norms.

"Most of the cases are to be tackled by pollution control board as they are the authority to check the air and water pollution level"  Lolienkar added.

 

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