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Govt agencies foxed by mines ban

The Mines Department, on the other hand, says that they are not the authority to implement the ban under Water and Air Pollution Control Act.



Panaji: A day after the Goa State Pollution
Control Board (GSPCB) asked 19 mines to close their operations
for failing to renew their consent under the Water and Air
Pollution Control Act, there is no clarity among government
agencies on how to implement the ban.

GSPCB Chairman Simon De Souza said that the copies of
the notices have been sent to State Mines and Geology
department to ensure that operations are closed at the
respective mines.

The Mines Department, on the other hand, says that they
are not the authority to implement the ban under Water and Air
Pollution Control Act.

"We are not the policing authority. We can`t go after
each and every mine to make sure that they have implemented
the order," De Souza said, adding that the Board lacked
manpower to check the mines for compliance of the order.

"We don`t know who will be ensuring that the order is
implemented, but we have sent copy of the notices for the
State Mines and Geology department, who will have to act," De
Souza said.

The Mines officials, however, point to the rule book that
states they are not the authority under Water and Air
Pollution Control Act.

"Statutory powers under Water and Air Pollution Control
Act lies with the Pollution Control Board," said Hectar
Fernandes, Senior Geologist, State Mines and Geology
department.

"The powers of mines department are under mining law," he
said. The department officials said that the only way by which
one can know whether the mines have stopped the operations or
not is through the monthly extraction report submitted by the
mines.

Fernandes said that during the monsoon, there was no
activity happening in the mines except for export of few lumpy
ore.

Meanwhile, GSPCB has said that the notices to remaining
16 mines (out of 35 which were found to be operating without
the mandatory consent) would be issued during this week.

De Souza said although the notices are issued to bulk
mines, they are being served individually.

"We have to go through the documents submitted by them
for the renewal of consent. The notice will examine the
documents and specify which are the NOCs or documents that are
yet to be submitted by the respective mines," he said.

The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court had recently asked
GSPCB to suspend operations of these mines, which are working
without getting consent under the Act. The closure of these
mines would prove a major setback for the iron ore export
trade.

PTI

From Zee News

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