Saturday 13 July 2024

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Economy | Mining

Villagers force closure of Caurem mine

 

Caurem villagers protesting against illegal mine

The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has ordered sealing of a mine in south Goa village after local tribals staged protests and laid siege to various government offices, fearing mining on a sacred mountain in the area.

GSPCB, in a late night order, ordered shutdown of M/s Devpan ou Devadongor Iron and Manganese Private Limited's mine at Caurem village in South Goa as they failed to comply with the air and water pollution norms.

The order came after a day-long agitation by 150 tribals under banner of Caurem Adivasi Bachao Samiti, which initially met chief minister Digambar Kamat and later held protests at the office of GSPCB.

After travelling 100 kilometres from their village to Panaji, the group even demonstrated in front of the state mines and geology department office forcing mines director Arvind Lolienkar to sign an order asking the mine owner to shift the machinery immediately.

The tribals resorted to agitation after the mining lease, which was dormant all these years, was revived some months back against all the norms. They fear that the mining activity will destroy the mountain, which has rich inhabitation and is a perennial water source.

Caurem tribals worship the mountain, which has allegedly been targeted by the company.

"We don't even pluck a leaf from that mountain. How can we allow a mining firm to swallow it entirely," questioned a 67-year-old woman, who was the part of the group.

The protesters refused to budge till late evening even as the government officials assured them to sign an appropriate order on Wednesday.

Bowing to the pressure, GSPCB issued an order asking local police inspector to seal the mine.

Subsequently, the mines department also issued another order asking the mining firm to withdraw all their machinery from the site by 5 pm today.

Goa has been witnessing protests in rural areas due to incessant mining activity that has spurred following demand for ore in European countries and also in China.

The state exports around 40 million metric tones of ore annually from its ports. Environmentalists have raised concerns on the increasing mining in the state, which has 100-odd working leases and equal number of mine sites, operating illegally.

A comptroller auditor general (CAG) report had pointed out that between 2003-05, one crore tonnes of iron ore was exported illegally without paying royalty.


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to vishwas prabhudesai:

As much as your idea is great, where a Royalty is to be used to compensate for any environmental destruction / de-gradation...please do not expect Mr Digamber Kamat, to use it for that purpose.

Mr D Kamat the Dishonourable Chief Minister of Goa is none other than a very lame duck. He is hanging on to power by the thickness of hos receeding hair.

Any Royalty from Mines will be used by him to erect more Sulabh Toilets every where, so that he can then part-take in the opening ceremony, which is his newly accquired past time and hobby. Serious affairs of the State of Goa are left to gather dust or passed on to his ineffective and extremely corrupt Ministers. Sharing the Loot and Plunder is a Congress Party core ethic.

I find it most daft that a Chief Minister of a State has stooped so low as to lay foundations stones and then perform an opening ceremony for a Simple Toilet.This Toilet in Margao is no Taj Mahal or sime major complea of of NAtional importance.Surely such menial task could be left for the Mayor of Margao or a Promient Citizen.

When a person cannot smile naturally on public occassions, is because, a sense of guilt is prevalent.

 
N,Fernandes-London , London

It's not good that the baby is fed only when it cries for milk. Whether performing or non-performing that will be the day of reckoning, when time comes.

 
Ludovico , Old-Goa

The Hon. Chief Minister of Goa would do well if he increases the royalty on the ore in an substantial manner. At least some money would be available to the State to party compensate for the damage and destruction that the mining is causing to the land and its people.

Indiscriminate mining will spell doom to this beautiful Land of Gods. It is time the whole issue is studied in all its details with full honesty and all transparency..

Exporting the non renewable natural resources and making money is nothing extraordinary entrepreneurship.Or the names of all those concerned would be remembered with all contempt in generations to come............

 
vishwas prabhudesai , loliem

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