Recently Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh succumbed to the public pressure against mining industry and took a laudable step of imposing moratorium on new mining projects. On 22nd February he wrote a letter to Chief Minister of Goa informing this and also declared “I also feel time has come for a comprehensive environmental impact assessment of all the mining activities that has taken place and for which permissions has been given over the past few years. Such a study should also find remedial measures. I am planning to ask NEERI to conduct this study and I am confident that I can count on your support in this regard.”
However between 22 February 2010 and July 2010 there has been interesting change of stance from MOEF. While moratorium has stayed on the study on Goa has been sort to be given to Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad. Answers are not given. NEERI has proved its scientific credentials while it undertook study on Sirgao village in north Goa and it would have been good if Minister Jairam Ramesh has stuck to his word of 22 February 2010 and awarded the study NEERI. There is every possibility that Jairam Ramesh has been put under pressure by mining industry to take this decision. Or Jairam Ramesh owes an explanation as to why he has changed from NEERI, Nagpur to Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad. Without this explanation the study will lack legitimacy cooperation from people of Goa.