Saturday 25 May 2024

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Economy | Mining

Centre imposes moratorium on new mining proposals

 

The central government has decided not to issue environmental clearance to any new mining proposal until Goa government finalises its mining policy.

The ministry of environment and forests has also asked for Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) of the ongoing mining activity in the tourist state.

MoEF minister Jairam Ramesh has written to Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat, informing him about the moratorium imposed on consideration of mining proposals.

Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) would conduct the EIA.

As per the communication dated 22 February (today), the decision has been taken under the provisions of Environmental Impact Assessment notification 2006.

"I also feel that time has come for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment of all mining activities that have taken place and for which permissions have been given over the past few years," Mr Ramesh said in the letter.

Export of iron ore is a prime economic activity in Goa since pre-liberation Portuguese era in the state. At present, it has over 100 mining leases, with exports of around 33 million tonnes.

While Japan was the main importer of Goa's mineral ore for over four decades, sudden boom of Chinese market has recently resulted into massive mining activity in the state. In fact, several villages are presently up in arms over granting new leases of mining.

Even the Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association has recently condemned the illegal mining activity that has started in the state, resulting into unprecedented pollution.

Digambar Kamat's coalition government led by the Congress has come under severe criticism for allegedly protecting the unscrupulous mining activity throughout the state.

Opposition leader Manohar Parrikar, on the floor of the House, has even alleged that half of the Kamat cabinet is involved in illegal mining while almost all the cabinet members have vested interest in the mining activity.

Ramesh has concluded his letter, appealing to chief minister Mr Kamat, saying that "I am confident that I can count on your support in this regard."

Jairam Ramesh letter to Goa CM


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The Centre imposing moratorium on new mining proposals is welcome. This would help in stopping further environmental degeneration of the State for the benefit of a privileged few!

In fact, if the impact of the existing Mining on the environments of Goa is carefully and impartially assessed, it will bring out the immense harm and misery that this Mining has brought to this beautiful State!

Let us all pray that better senses will prevail on all those who are out to ruin this State for their own selfish motives by indulging in mining activities!

 
Vishwas Prabhudesai , Loliem

Economy

 

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