Sunday, July 11, 2010

How Dempos got central government agency to fool MOEF

Dempo Mining Corporation before selling its mines to British Vedanta managed permission from Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF), New Delhi. The permission was granted according to Ramesh Gauns - who is closely following the affairs of Dempos Mines in Bicholim – based on executive summery of EIA-EMP undertaken by Central Mining Research Institute set up in Dhanbad, Jharkhand set up and financed by Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
Central Mining Research Institute did thorough unscientific job relying on concealment of facts related to water bodies. It is understandable considering that the study was sponsored by none other than Dempo Mining Corporation.

Public Hearing for this mine was held in 2003. Page 2 of the summery under the title “Location and Phisiography” states that “There are no rivers or surface water bodies (perennial or seasonal) within the lease boundary.” The truth however is far from this. Firstly, in Lamgao, Bicholim in survey number 22, 25, 26 are the part of the mining lease of the same company in which there are fresh perennial bodies – Lakes. Survey number 25 has lake called “thorlem tollem” admeasuring an area of 3,375 square meters which is totally silted and now on the verge of extinction.

Secondly, Survey number 22 has a lake of area of 1100 square meters.
Thirdly, Next to the Mhahatrey temple there is a lake that is totally silted.
Fourthly, there are fresh water bodies – lakes at Mulgao in survey number 117.
Besides there are other important omissions were made by this scientific study to benefit the Dempo Mining Corporation. In Bicholim there is an notified archeological site called “Namaz Jagah” built in 1687 by Akbar II. This does not find mention in the study. In Lamgao there are ancient Buddhist caves locally known as “Pandava caves”. Executive summery makes no mention of this fact.

Out of 5 contiguous mining leases namely TC ML 11/1941, 12/1941, 13/1941, 14/1941 and 15/1941, TC ML 15/1941 is operating on the bank of river Assanora which is subjected to tidal influence felt even up to the portion where the mining lease exist. This fact remains concealed in the study. As a result there is mining pit and mining operations goes on within 10 meters of the tidal impact.

I hope the scientists engaging in mining sponsored studies know that they are publicly watched. In case they indulge in unethical practices then they will be exposed and if they have not put their names to the study like this one then the institution will be publicly named like the Central Mining Research Institute in the present case. These research institutes and scientists have nothing to loose by manipulating the studies entrusted to them but Goa has everything to loose though such unethical practices and we are forced to go all out to expose such instances.

Sebastian Rodrigues

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