Naik seeks environmental clearances for mines in Goa

With Goa Chief Minister slated to meet Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, North Goa MP and Union minister from the state Shripad Naik Friday appealed to the Environment Ministry to restore the clearances for iron ore mining leases in the state at the earliest.

PTI| Updated: Feb 06, 2015, 18:33 PM IST

Panaji: With Goa Chief Minister slated to meet Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, North Goa MP and Union minister from the state Shripad Naik Friday appealed to the Environment Ministry to restore the clearances for iron ore mining leases in the state at the earliest.

"Reinstatement of environmental clearances would pave the way for restarting of mining in Goa and help normalise people's lives. I appeal to the minister to do it on a priority basis," said Naik.

He further said that the people in the state had been suffering for the last two-and-a-half years due to closure of mines, and the NDA government at the Centre was committed to restart the mining at the earliest.

Naik also alleged that the former Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had stalled the clearances to mines in Goa for "political reasons and to show her loyalty to the Congress leadership".

The Supreme Court had imposed a ban on mining because of the illegal mining in Goa. It was revoked last year.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar is going to be in Delhi on the weekend to participate in the first meeting of NITI Aayog. He is also scheduled to meet several Union ministers including Javadekar, Steel and Mines Minister Narendra Singh Tomar and Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju.

Leaving for Delhi today, Parsekar said he would request Javadekar to expedite clearances for mines.

Last month the state government revoked its mining suspension order of September 2012. Since then it has issued orders to renew over 85 mining leases.

Prior to the ban, Goa had 90 operational mines and exported 40-45 million tonnes of iron ore every year.