Mining firms encroaching on government land: Kamat
Panaji: Top mining companies, including the Vedanta Resources-owned Sesa Goa private limited (SGPL), have dumped their rejected ore on government land, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat has told the Goa Assembly.
In a written reply Tuesday, Kamat, also the minister for mines, said in 40 instances, government-owned land has been encroached on by the firms for dumping mining reject -- mainly poor grade ore that cannot be exported.
He said in 11 of 40 instances SGPL, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources, had encroached on government land measuring 7,63,250 sq mts land for dumping of ore in areas like Pissurlem, Vaghure, Sonus Ovaliem, Cudnem -- all part of Goa's mining belt.
Kamat said in all the instances of encroachment a, "hearing is going on with the deputy collector", who is the appropriate authority for such offences.
In a written reply to another question related to mining, Kamat said 93 new applications had been received by the state government for starting new mines in different parts of the state.
Several Mumbai, Gujarat and Karnataka-based mining firms have filed applications for the mining leases, which include Ashapura Minechem Limited (Mumbai), Iva Mines and Marines, Miloni Shah (both Jamnagar, Gujarat), MSPL Ltd (Bellary, Karnataka).
Two senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders from Goa, party national secretary Jitendra Deshprabhu and the party's Goa co-ordinator Prafulla Hede, have also applied for new mining leases.
Kamat has said that all the 93 applications were "held in abeyance" in view of assurance given to the house that no new mining leases would be opened up until a mining policy was formed by the state government.
There are nearly 100 operational open cast iron and manganese ore mines in Goa, which contribute to 18.82 percent of the state's GDP. The state earned Rs.287 crore from mining-related royalty in the last financial year.