The state government has ordered the bauxite mine at Sakhari Velas village in Ratnagiri to be shut after the Hindustan Times carried a series of reports about illegal mining at the spot by the city-based firm Ashapura Minechem Ltd.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has admitted that Ashapura Minechem Ltd has been illegally mining bauxite and that too in excess, and hence has ordered that the mine be shut and its water and electricity connections be cut off.
The closure notice, issued to the mine on January 15, also took notice of the HT reports and drew a reference to the points raised in them.
The MPCB also slammed the company for other violations, including failing to provide tree cover around the mine, thus causing pollution.
After the first two reports on January 3 and 4, the MPCB had sent a team to the mine on January 5, which found that mining operations were on even though the consent issued to it by the board had expired in November 2009.
Even the Ratnagiri collector conducted a site visit and indicted the company for illegal mining and had recommended that their mining lease be revoked.
In its report, MPCB has admitted that the company had been mining in the range of 35,000-40,000 tonnes per month, when their permissible limit was only 4,000 tonnes per month.