Thursday, May 22, 2008

Canacona foils Dempo's plans of Mining

The vigilant villagers of Nuem, Cola and the officials of Directorate of mine and industries, foiled the attempt of a mining company to start illegal mining activities with the help of police at Nuem, Cola in Canacona Taluka in Southern Goa.

Sources informed that Dempo Mining corporation is having a mining lease being lease No.TC No.87/52 which lease was expired way back in 1990. As recently there is a great demand for ore the mining company with the help of a contractor planned to transport ore which was termed at rejection about 20 years back. Presently without the permission from the Directorate of mines, Indian beareu of Mines, Ministry of environment and forest the mining company planned to transport the ore (reject) and with a motive to start and transport the rejection from the leased portion and to keep the villagers at bay.

The contractor namely Gangesh Molu Dessai whose father is the treasurer of Goa Pradesh Congress committee file a case against five villagers before the civil court Margao and by manipulating facts even managed to get ex-parte injunction on 25/4/2008. That based on the ex-parte injunction on 17/5/08 the said contractor managed to get police protection.

The villagers further informed herald that though the case has been filed against five people the Cuncolim police served police protection notice to 40 villagers.

That meanwhile the villagers of Nuvem are apprehensive about all the movement done by the mining company and the contractor to start and transport the minerals .

It seems that the Dy-Collector of Quepem and the Agriculture Department Quepem inspected the site and stated in their report that the proposed mining activity is illegal and it will affect the agriculture existing therein.

That Wednesday May 21 2008 morning at around 9.00 AM the contractor Gangesh Molu Dessai, landed at the site with around 40 police personal from Cuncolim, Margao, Maina Curtorim, Colva, IRB who were headed by Cuncolim P.I. Sidhant Shirodkar and Colva P.I. Edwin Colaco. The Canacona Execuitive Magistrate Shri Valvoikar made his presence over there. The police started clearing the obstruction which was there on the way leading to the mine.

Getting the news large number of villagers gathered over their. However anticipating arrest the villagers did not halt the illegal activity. Meanwhile three jeeps from the Directorate of mine landed at the site. The Senior Technical Assistants, Directorate of mines and Geology Shri Hector Fernandes served a notice on the contractor , the police and the village. The notice states as under:

“Mining/winning of Minerals or lifting of Minerals from the said Ex-Mining lease is prohibited without the sanction from the government. Any person who is found engaged in the above activity within the Ex-mining lease in contravention of the provisions of section 4 of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act 1957 is liable for prosecution.”

That at around 10.30 AM Quepem MLA Shri Chandrakant Kavlekar in whose constituency Nuvem comes as per new constituency delimitation come at the scene. He told police that no mining activity which is against the wishes of the villagers should be carried out in the village. However the police were stationed at the site till 4.00 PM

Carlet Pereira who witnessed the entire incident questioned as to how can the police themselves clear the road that too from the private property based on the police protection . Are the policeman employee of the mining company?

Meanwhile the villagers of Nuvem are firm and united in opposing any mining activity in the area.

John Fernanades

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