Panaji: Nineteen out of the 100 odd operational mines in Goa have been ordered to be shut down by the state`s top pollution control authority for functioning in the absence of the mandatory permissions.
The mines were operating in the absence of permissions under the Air and Water Pollution Control Act, Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) chairman Simon D`Souza said.
"They will be allowed to resume operations only after they get the consent under the act," D`Souza told reporters, adding that inspections revealed that many other mines were also operating without mandatory pollution-related permissions.
"More mines are likely to be shut down in the near future," he said.
Most of the mines in question are located in the Sanguem sub-district, 35 km south from here, and in Bicholim sub-district, 30 km from here.
Goa exported a record 54 million tonnes of low-grade iron ore to countries like China, Japan and Romania last financial year, even as green activists complained of large-scale destruction of forest cover to accommodate "indiscriminate and illegal mining".
The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has accused several Goa cabinet ministers of being involved in illegal mining trade. According to Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar near 20 percent of Goa`s annual output is illegally mined.