Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday lifted the ban on Goa mining and allowed an annual cap of 20 million tonnes of iron ore excavation, down from earlier 40 MT.
However, the apex court said there will be no grant of lease for mining around one km of national parks and wild life sanctuaries.
The apex court banned mining in Goa since September 2012 after Justice M B Shah Commission pointed out to the illegalities in the industry.
Passing the judgement, the Supreme Court also said the Ministry of Environment and Forests to identify eco-sensitive areas around national parks within six months.
Before the ban in September 2012, the total production of iron ore from Goa mining stood around 40 million tonnes with a Supreme Court committee suggesting that the production be capped to 20 million tonnes.
On Monday, the apex court passed the order lifting the ban on mining of iron ore in Goa however fixing the production limit to 20 MT.
Earlier in March, the committee appointed by the Supreme Court had said that Goa can sustain extraction of iron ore to the tune of 27.5 million tonnes annually. However, they suggested 20 million tonnes as the permissible limit.
Sesa Sterlite will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the ruling considering that the ban had led to the suspension of the services of 1,017 empployees of the company at its iron ore unit in Goa.
The company had also decided to move the court following the ban as it had severely affected their earnings.
With PTI Inputs