43% ore exports from Goa illegally extracted: NGO
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Last Updated: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 18:38
Panaji: A leading NGO on Thursday claimed that almost 43 percent of the ore exported from Goa during the financial year 2010-11 was illegally extracted violating environmental norms and local laws.

Goa Foundation (GF), which has filed a series of litigation in Bombay High Court at Goa against illegal mining, said it has arrived at the figures on illegal extraction banking on the official data submitted by two government agencies - Indian Bureau of Mines and State Mines and Geology department.

The ore export from Goa has been under scanner during last year after central government appointed Justice M B Shah Commission initiated the enquiry. The final report of the enquiry is yet to be submitted to the Centre.

The corresponding figures available from both the agencies indicate that the illegally extracted ore export is on rise compared to last year.

Goa Foundation's Claud Alvares said it was around 33 per cent for the year 2009-10. The ore production statistics was provided to the NGO by both the departments in response to the PILs filed before the High Court.

Goa government's directorate of Mines and Geology in their affidavit filed before the court in 2010-11 had said that total production was 48.38 million tonnes, while the actual exports were 54.3 million tonnes, which means there is no record of 5.65 MT ore.

"Obviously no royalty was paid on this 5.65 MT ore," Alvares said.

Interestingly, Directorate of Mines and Geology in their affidavit had stated that 91 mine leases were operational in the state.

"During the same time IBM claimed the number of leases as 114 leaving 23 working leases unaccounted for," he said.

Similarly, the figure of ore dumps which are kept aside on the mining site is also not matching between two government agencies. While state government department says that during the year 2009-10, 12.60 MT ore was produced, the IBM figure states that it was 5.49 MT.

"Based on the information provided by DMG in 2009-10, 39 mining leases with EC limit of 17.31 M.T, on their own produced 24.64 M.T that is an excess of 7.33 MT," Alvares said.

In 2010-11, though the number of mines involved in excess production reduced from 39 to 31, the excess production increased compared to the earlier year.

The combined EC limit of 31 leases was 14.82 M.T while they actually produced 27.06 MT ? an excess of 12.24 MT. Even data from IBM confirms that in 2009-10, 31 mining leases exceeded their target by 3.26 MT while the dumps production in excess was 7.11 MT, i.e a total of 10.37 MT, Alvares said.


First Published: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 18:38

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