Panaji: Cracking the whip on illegal mining,
Goa`s new government on Tuesday suspended the licences of all the
448 traders in the state in a bid to weed out fake traders
operating in the mining industry.
The suspension came a day after the BJP-led government,
which made "illegal mining scams" as one of the election
issues, suspended Director of Mines Arvind Lolienkar from
services for his alleged involvement in the illegal mining
scam, pending enquiry. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar holds
the mining portfolio.
In an order issued by the newly-appointed Director of
Mines and Geology Prasanna Acharya this evening, licences of
these traders have been suspended by asking them to respond
back with proper documentation within a fortnight.
Acharya said the traders will have to approach the Mines
Department with their documents, which should also include
details about the mining companies, from whom they buy the
State`s iron ore trading is mainly handled by these
traders, who act as a conduit between the mine owners and
Inquiry into the issue of illegal mining trade in the
state had pointed finger at the rising number of traders, many
of whom were operating with the fake postal addresses and
Acharya said the state Mines Ministry will formulate
proper guidelines for the traders. "Only those, who fall
within the guidelines, will be eligible to trade in the
state," he added.
Goa Mineral Ore Exporters Association (GMOEA), a
parent body of ore exporters, had earlier claimed that several
million tonnes of ore was being shipped by the traders, who
are not registered with them.
The ore, which is termed as unclassified, was left
without knowing their source of origin, giving a scope to
suspect that it was illegally tapped.
The Mines Ministry has also decided not to allow any
further registration of mining trucks.
"We will have to either stop the registration of
trucks or give them a deadline, after which, no new trucks
should be registered," Acharya said adding that this measure
was taken to reduce the traffic on the already congested roads
in the mining belt.