Mining is damaging rivers of Goa, says activist

Water bodies and rivers in Goa are facing a serious threat of pollution and silting due to the iron-ore mining, a veteran anti-mining activist said.

Last Updated: Feb 06, 2011, 17:50 PM IST

Panaji: Water bodies and rivers in Goa are
facing a serious threat of pollution and silting due to the
iron-ore mining, a veteran anti-mining activist today said.

Rivers, especially, are "at the mercy of mining", said
well-known environmentalist and activist Ramesh Gawas.

"In the case of Khandepar river, which feeds Opa
reservoir, there are 21 mines in one kilometre radius," Gawas
said during a seminar on `Litigation against corruption for
human rights` here.
Khandepar river supplies water to 30 per cent of the
Goan population, he said.

Goa exports around 40 million metric tones of iron ore
every year. According to Gawas, there are 825 mining sites in
the state, as against the official figure of 100-odd sites.
Mining along the banks is ruining rivers, he said. There
are 37 mines in the space of one kilometre along Kushavati
river, which has lost its "natural identity", he alleged.

Mandovi river, Goa`s lifeline, has 37 loading points from
where Iron ore is transferred to ships. Gawas claimed that
there are 27 mining sites in the catchment area of Mandovi.

"The mines around Mandovi generate 1.01 lakh tones of
mining reject annually. 70,000 cubic tones of mining particles
are deposited in the river every year," he alleged.

He said there were mining heaps right along the river
banks, in a blatant violation of Coastal Regulation Zone
rules.

Mining has posed a threat of pollution even to Selaulim
dam, which provides drinking water for 54 per cent of Goa?s
population, the activist alleged.

PTI