MOEF under Natarajan is in disarray: Parrikar
Panaji: A day after the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest suspended the environmental clearances for all the 93 mining leases in Goa, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that he will appeal to Prime Minister to "set things right" in the green ministry headed by Jayanti Natarajan.
"Jayanti Natarajan is an irresponsible minister who does not know what is happening in her own department. I will be writing to the prime minister urging him to set things right in the environment ministry," Parrikar told a press conference here.
Parrikar's outburst against Natarajan came a day after the latter termed as a "white wash" the action initiated by the BJP-ruled state against mine owners. Goa government had earlier suspended licences of all mining leases in the state.
"Jayanti Natarajan should file a criminal complaint against MOEF officials for granting Environmental Clearances to the non-existing mining leases. Why is that MoEF not taking action against its own officers despite being indicted in the report," Parrikar questioned.
Justice M B Shah commission's report on illegal iron ore mining in Goa, which was tabled in the Parliament recently, had pointed out that MoEF had given ECs to various mines in a fraudulent manner.
The chief minister also accused the ministry officials of "not coordinating with the state government over the issue of closure of illegal mines" by citing eight notices issued earlier to different mines for suspending their operations over failure to obtain necessary certificates from the National Board of Wildlife.
"The copies of these notices were not marked to the state government which is actually the implementing authority. If mines continue despite MoEF notices, then the state government will not be shouldering the blame," Parrikar said.
Observing that his government is committed to implement the Shah Commission report, Parrikar said seven officers have already been suspended for violation of norms.