Panaji: Environmentalists today organised a protest walk here demanding cancellation of mining leases operating within 10 kms of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Goa.
The green activists, who marched to the office of Chief Wildlife Warden of Goa, highlighted the just submitted report of Justice M B Shah Commission, which has pointed out that almost 33 mines were working within one kilometers of wildlife sanctuaries in the coastal state.
Claude Alvares, a noted environmentalist, who led a delegation to Chief Wildlife Warden Richard D`Souza, alleged the State Forest Department was colluding with mining lobbies and indiscriminately issuing no objection certificates (NOCs).
Despite the Supreme court directives, the Department had issued NoCs to various mining firms to operate close to the wildlife sanctuaries, a protected zone, he said.
The SC directives, he said, had made it mandatory for the mining firms to get clearance from the Standing Committee of National Wildlife Board.
D`Souza told the delegation he will be able to give proper assurance on the matter only after going through the Shah Commission report. "I will be able to react only on Friday," he said.