Saturday, September 26, 2009

28 mines have no nod to operate: GSPCB

Twenty-eight mines in Goa are found to be without the necessary “consent to operate” from the Goa State Pollution Control Board, which is investigating whether these mines were still in operation.

Chaiman GSPCB Simon de Souza said even though the 28 mines have necessary environmental clearance they need the consent to operate to comply with all the conditions laid down in the environmental clearance.

De Souza said the board would be issuing show-cause notices to mines which have violated the terms and conditions of its consent to operate. “We would be writing to the Directorate of Mines to find out whether these mines were in operation or not,” he mentioned.

He mentioned on the other side there were some mines that have obtained the nesesary consent to operate from the Board but it wasn’t known whether these were operating. We are in the process of finding out, he added.

He said these 28 mines without consent to operate are from the 78 to whom the board had written letters asking them to come clear on their forest and wildlife clearances.

“From out of the 78 mines, we have received 57 replies. Evaluation of the replies has revealed that 32 of these mines have no forest clearances and four have replied they don’t require any clearances to operate,” he informed and added 21 mines haven’t replied.”

The chairman said the claims of the four mines stating forest and wildlife clearances were not required to operate have to be investigated.

De Souza said the board hasn’t received any reply from the chief conservator of forest on 12 mines, the issue of which was raised by legislator Reginaldo Lourenco during the assembly session. “We had written a letter to the CCF some time back asking for information on the clearances of these mines,” he stated.

He said the Department of Science and Technology had also sounded the board about these 12 mines. “We would be now writing to the Department of Science and Technology communicating to it that the CCF has not bothered to reply to the board with information,” he mentioned.

Earlier the board had asked 13 mines to suspend operations for not having the necessary forest and wildlife clearances. Out of these five had appealed in administrative tribunal. Out of five, Sesa Goa mine at Codlim managed to obtain a stay on the closure directive.

The other four mines – three belonging to VS Dempo and Hiru Bambo Gawas – are awaiting a hearing into their pleas on September 25.

Another two mines – Kunda Gharse (Tudou village, Sanguem) and Manuel D’Costa (Patiem, Uguem, Sanguem) – of these 13 have obtained the necessary forest clearances as laid down by the board.

Hearld, September 25, 2009, Panaji

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