Goa govt clamps activity at iron ore dumps



Panaji: Tightening the screws on the mining lease holders and traders after facing inquiry by Shah Commission, the Goa State Mines and Geology department has issued a circular asking them not to carry out any sort of activity at the sites of iron ore dumps.

"It has been brought to the attention of the government by various agencies that there is a large scale handling of mining dumps by the lease holders or traders without permission thereby resulting into illegal extraction or non-payment of royalty on such extraction in certain cases," state mines and geology director Arvind Lolienkar has said in the circular issued recently.

The circular forwarded to all the mines and concerned authorities further reads that the government has therefore decided not to allow any working, handling or sale at such dumps by the lease holders or traders till a system is put in place by the directorate.

The notice came in the background of a slew of allegations against Goa government over illegal mining.

State Mines and Geology department was caught on the wrong foot recently when it could not produce details about the existing mining dumps in the state sought by the Shah Commission probing into the illegal mining trade.

The illegality in the iron ore export is measured depending upon the amount of ore extracted and exported.

The mining firms have been claiming that they have not violated the maximum permissible limit of extraction and the quantum of ore they have exported is from the dumps lying at their sites.

According to a mines official, in order to have exact idea regarding the quantum of ore lying at the mining sites, the state government has now decided to register each and every mound.

The Digambar Kamat government stopped short of imposing green cess on the dumps in the budget for year 2009-10 but the mining lobby exerted pressure to roll back the cess even before its implementation.

PTI