Monday 27 May 2024

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Economy | Mining

Goa yet to take steps mooted by CEC on mining

 

Even as the industry expects Supreme Court to lift the interim ban on mining exports, the state mines and geology department is yet to take several initiatives suggested by the apex court's Central Empowered Committee (CEC), mandatory to arrest illegal mining.

The state government will be filing a status report before the Supreme Court on September 17 when the case would be heard, officials of state mines and geology said.

However, the officials conceded that the status report will have to admit that several initiatives, including notification of state mining policy, were yet to be taken.

The CEC, which had conducted extensive study of illegal mining scenario in Goa, suggested various initiatives required to recommence the exports from the state.

Goa government was supposed to notify the state mining policy and inform about it to the Indian Bureau of Mines (IBM), a central government agency. The policy is still in the draft stage, an official said on condition of anonymity.

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), in its additional affidavit filed before the apex court in April, had also pointed out that Goa government was yet to take up steps including decision on the buffer zones and Digital Global Positioning System (DGPS) survey - measuring distance between mining leases and wildlife sanctuaries.

The state mines department is yet to complete the DGPS survey in connection with all the 90 mining leases, confirmed assistant director of mines and geology, Parag Nagarcekar.

Goa government recently informed the MoEF about the state Cabinet's proposal suggesting one kilometre buffer zone for the mining activity around wildlife sanctuaries and national park.

 

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, while recently addressing a public meeting, had blamed MoEF for "virtually sitting over the state's proposal of having one kilometre buffer zone."

The CEC had asked the state government to install RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) to monitor the ore activity, right from the mining leases to the trans-shippers from where it is exported abroad.

"The process is still on to install RFIDs. The mining department is in the process of procuring it," an official said.

The CEC had also recommended micro level Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) due to mining in the state.

The officials said that EIA has been completed and would be submitted to the court during the next hearing.

The department is also working on the reclamation and rehabilitation (R&R) plan for the mining leases, which is yet to be completed.


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