Goa Foundation for continuation of stay on mining



Panaji: Goa Foundation on whose petition the Supreme Court issued an interim stay on mining activity in the state last year has said a large section of people here have actually found solace in the apex court order.

The NGO in its rejoinder affidavit filed before the Supreme Court said the state government, in all fairness, should have indicated that there was a larger section of population - "the mining-affected people" - who have faced, without relief and recourse, the adverse and negative consequences of mining and for whom the stoppage of mining has brought tremendous relief.

"Their (of people) water bodies, agricultural lands, fisheries, tanks now have some respite. Streams and rivers are now clean again", the affidavit says.

The rejoinder affidavit was made available to media here by Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation today.

The Supreme Court in its interim order on the petition filed by Goa Foundation last year stopped extraction and transportation of ore in the state, pending inquiry by Central Empowered Committee (CEC).

"State Government has not noticed that there is great happiness with the apex court's intervention in the towns of Sanguem, Quepem, Sanvordem and mining villages; that as per several news reports, villagers are happy to return to agricultural operations, that production of coconut and other crops, hitherto greatly diminished due to dust pollution, has again increased in all mining areas", the affidavit said.

Goa Foundation stated the state government in its affidavit before Supreme Court, seeking early resumption of mining activity in Goa, did not mention the gross environmental damage caused due to collusion between authorities and the influential miners.

Alvares said the Goa Foundation has requested the SC to not allow resumption of mining, unless stringent monitoring of the activity is in place.

PTI