Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Advalpal mine collapses; major tragedy averted‏

BICHOLIM AUG 18: A portion of the Advalpal mine collapsed on Thursday posing a threat to the nearby houses even as no major disaster was reported as the water from the pit got diverted away from the houses.

It may be recalled that the villagers from Advalpal had protested the mining activities in the area some months back and had stalled the work from more than five days. The agitators had demanded immediate closure of the mining in the area. In this connection several villagers including women were arrested and they were restricted entry into the mining area. The people had also staged morcha at the deputy collector's office in protest against the mining.

Later, at the Advalpal Gram Sabha some of the people objected to the agitation and demanded that the mining should be allowed to continued Advalpal. The resolution in favor of the mining was supported by about 120 villagers while only few of them opposed the mining. On Thursday August 14 at around 3.00 pm the surrounding slabs of the mining collapsed into the excavated area thus making way to the stagnant water. "The most of the mining slabs collapsed and the water gushed out of the pit" Kishor Naik a member of the Varchawada Kruti Samiti Advalpal told Herald.

"This time we were lucky as the water did not enter our houses as it went into another pit and some of the water was flown to the other side because of a trench" Naik said adding "this proves that the mining is serious threat to the village and was given permission without looking into the seriousness of the problem."

In 2000 a similar incident had occurred in the village and water along with the silt went directly into the houses which are about 100 mts from the mine. "The mine is not at all safe and so we strongly demand to cancel the license of the said mine" Naik demanded

"the government should take immediate action against the mining and we have also submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister in this connection."

"All the authorities should immediately look into the matter and conduct investigation before some major tragedy strikes the village" Kishore said.

Meanwhile, in the copies of the memorandum have been also given to the chief secretary; Bicholim deputy collector and the Mamletdar.

Adapted from Samir Umarye on Bicholim Net

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