Friday, August 28, 2009

Pollution Board tightens screws on erring mines


Acting firm on erring mines, the Goa State Pollution Control Board has asked the Forest Department to furnish information on another 74 mines whether these have obtained necessary forest and wildlife clearances as mentioned in the Forest Conservation Act.

These 74 are apart from the 13 mines which have been asked to suspend operations by the GSPCB till they furnish all the necessary clearances to operate from the departments concerned. GSPCB Chairman Simon de Souza said they have written to the Forest Department on these 74 mines and was awaiting replies from it to initiate further proceedings if required.

De Souza said they haven’t heard from any of the 13 mines that have been ordered to stop operations. This being monsoon season majority of the mines are closed and the same would start operations sometime after September, he stated.

He asserted that these 13 mines would not be allowed to operate till they furnish the necessary clearances from the Conservator of Forests and wildlife wardens.

However, according to sources, efforts are on to apply brakes on the implementation of the order of GSPCB. The mining lobby is surprised that the new Board of GSPCB unlike the previous one, has shown pro-active approach in acting against erring mines. Despite pressures, the Environment Minister Aleixo Sequeira has given a go-ahead for action against mines violating statutory laws.

Meanwhile, the GSPCB has also asked the Forest Department to inform them on another 12 mines whether these had necessary forest and wildlife clearances to operate. The question of these mines was raised by Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Lourenco in the Assembly session.

On one of the 12 mines – TC No 1/58 mining lease by Ana Bertha Rego in Dhavem, Satteri – the public hearing was cancelled.

The remaining 11 mines are: TC No 1/51 (Deva Dongor) run by Salim Shaikh in Maina Village; TC No 59/51 (Tembeche Dongor) run by Jairam Negi; TC No 12/53 (Bategal) run by Vaikunt Kadnekar in Maina Village; TC No 28/52 Chinumol Iron Ore of Shantilal Kushaldas & Bros in Main Village; TC No 10/51 Haider Kasim Khan in Caurem, Pirla Panchayat; TC No 84/53 Damodar Mangalji & Co in Colomba village; TC No 80/59 (Caremol) run by Mangaldas Jaising in Caurem Pirla village; TC No 3/51 (Dempo) at Curpem in Vaddem Panchayat; TC No 65/51 (Polo Dongor) run by Ms G F Figueiredo; TC No 18/56 at Colomba Village run by Mazook Kadar and TC No 75/52 Chunimola Mines of Ajit Kadnekar.

Herald, Panjim August 28 2009

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