Saturday 25 May 2024

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Economy | Mining

Draft forest policy silent on mining

 

Google image of a mine amidst thick forest of Goa

Goa's draft forest policy is entirely silent on the regulation of iron ore mining within the wildlife sanctuaries and forest areas.

The forest policy is expected to spell out buffer zones between forest boundaries and mining sites.

Except for a mention that mining within the forest shall be regulated as per the law, the policy has been non-committal on other relevent issues.

Activists have been seeking buffer zones for long. Earlier this week, Goa legislative assembly's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) ordered closure of 15 mines in the forest areas.

Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Shashi Kumar, said that department's stance was that `a bare minimum area' can be spared for mining with the sanctions from state government and union ministry of Environment and Forests.

In addition, there would conditions providing for compensatory afforestation, and proper closure and handing back of the mines to the state once the extraction is over, he said.

But the anti-mining activists think that forest department is not doing its job well. Environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar said even when state's forest areas were declared as wildlife sanctuaries, it took almost two years for the government to close the existing mines in some cases.

In Netravali and Mhadei sanctuaries, there were 40 mines, of which 18 were operational even later.

Only after several memorandums to the Central Empowered Committee, these mines were closed, he said.

As per the Assembly records, between 1995 to 2007, 1,907 hectares of forest land was diverted for non-forest purposes.

Thereafter, another 1,314 hectares of forest has met the same fate.


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hi our law is the best in the world ,first they give to rob and act after the job has been long finished.is the forest department and the other concerned departments waiting to convert goa into a desert and then act .this is because all these mines belong to politicians and the enviromental departments are unconcerned about the climate impact which has already been affecting us.

 
justino , dubai

The recent exposure in the Assembly that in the last few years--the mining was responsible for destruction of over-- 55 thousand trees-- speaks for the damage the mining activity has on the trees.. Unfortunately after independence many of the legislations enacted have helped the corrupt and powerful to exploit and increased hardships to law abiding common man--If one wants to cut a tree from his own property--he has to go through lot of hardships and run to different Government offices. But one can see the trees in private as well as in public forests-disappearing overnight and being used for commercial purpose by the tree thieves--mushrooming all over the State including a small village like Loliem-

Many times a genuine doubt comes in the minds whether the legislations and policies formulated are to harass the law abiding but help the powerful and in the process -to encourage thefts/robberies and illegal acts----???

 
vishwas prabhudesai , loliem

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