Judicial panel indicts Kamat over illegal mining

A Centre-appointed judicial commission slammed former Goa CM Digambar Kamat for not acting against illegalities in the mining sector.

Updated: Sep 07, 2012, 18:46 PM IST

Panaji: A Centre-appointed judicial commission has slammed former Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for not acting against illegalities in the mining sector despite knowing about them.

The report of Justice M B Shah Commission, tabled in Parliament today, has come down heavily on Kamat, who also held the Mines portfolio in the Congress-led Government, for ignoring complaints about the destruction caused by illegal mining in the coastal state.

"It is amply clear that the Minister of Mines and Chief Minister (Kamat) were well aware about non-compliance of conditions and other illegalities/irregularities happening in the mining sector.

"The complaints regarding water pollution, pollution of natural streams, rivers, ponds, agriculture destruction and failure of horticulture crops were well known to the entire administration.

"But no inspection had been carried out which resulted into a fear-free environment which has caused loss to the ecology, environment, agricultural, ground water, natural streams, ponds, rivers, biodiversity, etc," said the report, which went into entire gamut of mining scenario in Goa.
The report maintained that during the last five years (when Kamat-led coalition Government was in power), the Directorate of Mines and Geology (DMG) had not held inspection of the mining leases.

"DMG has not carried out inspection of mines at least since the last five years. Only isolated cases, where they have received complaints from locals due to inconvenience caused by mining activity, have been attended. No regular monitoring and compliance of the Regulation and Statutes, as required, have been done," the panel noted.