The Goa State Pollution Board along with water resources department , forest department, agriculture department and committee member of Cavrem Adivasi Bachao Samiti and villagers of Cavrem recently carried out a joint inspection of the Devapan Dongor mine Cavrem Quepem operated by Sheik Salim and Shaik Muktar.
There were more than 200 villagers gathered along with officials to inspect the mine which started from 11 am in the morning and lasted till 3 PM in the evening without any break for lunch.
At the time of inspection the team notice that in violation of the environment clearance which has permitted the mining activity up to the dept of about 120 mts below sea level but the mine owner has dug the pit up to the depth of about 167 mts below sea level. This has caused tremendous damage to the water resource.
It was noticed by the directorate of mines and geology that no royalties have been paid to the government since Jan 2010, till May 2010 even though the mine was in operation without there being legal consent to operate. This was confirmed by the inspecting team from visual inspection of the mine and the verbal confirmation from the directorate of mines representative. Top soil was not stored as per the environment clearance. one Water spring was totally destroyed and 2nd spring is heavily damaged. As per the EC 50 mts on both sides of the nallah should be mining free , and it was thickly vegetated with native forest trees. But the mine owners have completely buried and destroyed in total violation of environment clearance. The Indian bureau of mines did not attend the inspection but forwarded a letter stating that the mining company has violated the mining plan. The authorities were witness to large scale deforestation in private forest land, and the representatives stated that they had not encroached on land belonging to forest dept., but the team pointed out that deforestation in private forest is also contravention of the forest conservation act. All the authorities observed that mining activities had been carried out in the previous week and that the screening plant had been operational in spite of high court order and order from the Goa pollution control board.