The National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) today [13-5-2010] stayed the Environmental Clearance granted to Careamol Iron Ore Ltd at Village Pirla, Quapem Taluka, South Goa. The mining project was granted environmental clearance on 18-9-2007 by the Ministry of Environment and Forest. It was challenged by local group Gomantak Shetkari Sanghatana before the NEAA in 2007. The NEAA dismissed the case on technical grounds of delay. The decision of the NEAA was challenged before the Delhi High Court which reversed the decision of the NEAA and directed the NEAA to hear the matter on merit.
The main issue raised was the wrong declaration made in the EIA document: i.e the river Kushawati is at a distance of 2.6 km whereas actually it is at a distance of only 50 Mts. The EIA document was made available only in English and the Public Hearing venue was nearly 40 kms away from the project site. There is also an archeological monument within a distance of 500 mts which was never disclosed to the NEAA. There was
The NEAA also stated that a site visit will be conducted on the 15th and 16th of July to ascertain the distance from the river as well as meet the affected people.
Further, since the project is located within 10 km of a wildlife sanctuary : Cotigaon and Netravali, the, MoEF has been directed to place the project before the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife for consideration.