57 mines get Goa pollution board clearance

Panaji, (IANS) A total of 57 mining leases were granted consent by the Goa pollution control authorities on Friday, clearing yet another administrative hurdle for the resumption of mining in the state.

Mining has been banned in Goa for nearly three years.

A government spokesperson said on Friday 57 mines were granted licences by the Goa State Pollution Control Board to operate under the Water and Air act, which was mandatory for starting mining operations.

“We had 69 cases pending for permissions out of which 57 were cleared,” the spokesperson said.

An order issued by the board also lists precautions which need to be taken by mining operators before resumption of mining, which includes monitoring of water quality, both upstream and downstream the mining area along with monitoring of air quality and carrying out ore transportation in compliance with directions laid down by the Bombay High Court.

Mining in Goa was stopped both by the state government as well as the central government in 2012 following a Rs.35,000 crore illegal mining scam which was unearthed by a judicial commission appointed by the union mines ministry, before the Supreme Court banned all mining activity in the same year.

The ban was eventually lifted last year, but mining still could not be restarted because of pending green clearances.

The 57 mining leases which have now been granted clearances by the pollution authorities in Goa have now been granted the requisite environment clearances. Mining, according to Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar is expected to resume in October, after the culmination of the monsoon season.

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