The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has recommended complete ban of mining operations in Goa until the state government notifies rules to regulate storage, transportation and shipment of mineral ore and completes the environment impact assessment of the area.
A special forest bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam had on October 5 stopped mining operations in the Union Territory.
“The environmental clearances granted by the ministry of environment & forests, for the 19 mining leases located within the wildlife sanctuaries and for another 23 mining leases located within a distance of upto 1 km from the boundaries of nearby national parks / sanctuaries being in violation of this court’s orders dated. The mining operations in such mining leases may be prohibited,” stated the 124-page report submitted to the court on Friday.
The panel took note of the Justice MB Shah Commission report which estimated a whopping Rs.35,000 crore loss to the exchequer due to illegal mining in the last 12 years, the bench had halted mining operations in all the 90 mines in Goa.
The committee in its report said that on the line of Karnataka, Goa should also prepare a reclamation and rehabilitation plan and the SC should examine the environmental clearances given to the leases.
“Goa may be directed to notify comprehensive Rules to regulate the storage, transportation and shipment of mineral,” the report added.