Saturday, June 21, 2008

Maina, Quepem under mining threat

The villagers of Maina, Pirla, Cavrem, Colomba and the adjoining areas are gearing up to oppose the public hearing for renewal of mining leases fixed by the Goa Pollution Control board on June 21st at Chandreshwar Temple , Cotto Amona Quepem.

That the Goa Pollution Control board has fixed three pubic hearings of three mine on june 21st which includes M/S. Shantilal K and bros. Pvt. Ltd. Pante Pan e Saterkarachi iron ore mine under T.C. No.9/53 which is in survey No.23,24,40 to 45 and 51, of Maina Village M/S. Shantilal K and bros. pvt. Ltd. Zolerancho Dongor iron ore mine under T.C. No.18/51 which is in survey No.24,25, 27 to 32 , 39 , 40 and 64 of Maina Village and M/S. Tisa Moraes Mining Industries Ubea Fateracho Dongor iron ore mine under T.C. No.1/57 which is in survey No.38, 39, 56 and 59 of Pirla ,maina village of Quepem.

The villagers claim that the mine owner who had applied for renewal of mining lease in Joleracho dongor has already started the mine and extensive damage has been done to the environment. That even the forest department has booked the mine owner and has been fined for illegally cutting the trees.

They claim that the area were the mine is proposed is cover under thick forest and is a home for different animal such as spotted Dear, Byson, leapords, porcupine etc and for reptiles and birds such as peacock. The mine under T.C.No. 1/57 is a home for Tigers . The start of mining activities in that area will destroy the forest , affect the animals, reptiles, birds.

They further claim that there are residential house in the proposed leased area where in around 200 people are residing therein mostly from Dhanger community. If the mining activity started then they have to be uprooted from the area.

The Government High School Mina is at a distance of just 150 mts wherein around 300 students are studying. The dust and noise pollution caused by the mining activity will affect their health.

The Corca River which is a tributary of Kushawati River is at a distance of around 500 mts. from the proposed mine. The government this year has constructed 4 Bandaras over the Corca River at an estimated cost of Rs.4 crore in order to bring 100 acre of land under cultivation. The proposed mine will destroy the Corca river and the amount invested in constructing the Bandaras will go in waste. That the fresh water springs which supply water to the Corca and the Kushawati River are originates from these areas.

That adjacent to the proposed mine there is vast track of land wherein sugar and other cultivation is done. That some of the survey numbers which are included in the leased portion forms part of the Private Forest declared by the Sawant and Karapurkar Community particularly survey No.38 and 39 of Pirla village.

There are two temples namely the Paik Devasthan and the Sateri Devastahn which falls within the leased portion of one of the mine.

The protected site at Rivona and Ponsamol are at a close distance from the proposed mines claims the villagers further. They claim that no lease of any of the mine should be renewed.

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