Goa Temporarily Suspends all Mining Operations

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Goa Temporarily Suspends all Mining Operations

The Goa Government on September 10th, 2012 ordered temporary suspension of all mining operations in the state. An order to this effect was issued by the Principal Secretary, Department of Mines and Geology. The suspension came into effect from September 11th, 2012.

The decision comes in view of the serious illegalities and irregularities mentioned in the report of the Justice M.B. Shah commission of inquiry constituted by the Union Government of India to look into the aspect of illegal mining in various states including Goa. However, the suspension of mining operations will have no effect on trade and transportation of ore already mined and existing in the lease – hold area, in transit or stored or stocked on the jetties.

“It is necessary in order to scrutinise clearances obtained by the mining lease holders and allowing continuation of mining without proper scrutiny and verification of requisite approval,” Principal Secretary ( Mining ) R.K. Verma said in his order. Monday’s order has also asked mining companies and traders of ore to report to the mines and geology department, the exact quantum, quality and location of their ore within a week, which would be then verified by a government appointed committee.

The order was issued within minutes of a press conference, in which green activist Claude Alvares claimed that Parrikar was going out of his to favour the mining industry in Goa, which has been indicted in the Shah Commission report. “Parrikar should come clean on his stance on illegal mining. He has written a letter to the union ministry for environment and forests that there is no illegal mining in Goa, shortly after he was elected chief minister,” he said.

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