Respond to plea seeking lower mining cap, SC tells Goa

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Goa government and mining companies to respond on a petition seeking to lower the cap on extraction of mineral ores in the State from the current 20 MTPA to a final 12 MTPA.The apex court asked the State and the companies to file their responses to a petition filed by NGO Goa Foundation, represented by advocates Prashant Bhushan and Pranav Sachdeva, for reducing the interim cap of 20 MTPA.The petition also said the State and its citizens even runs the danger of increased pollution as the The Expert Committee on the CAP (ECOC) has recommended in its final report for an enhanced extraction of mineral ores from 20 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes.“Interim cap on extraction of mineral ores from Goa, recommended by the ECOC, was fixed in a vacuum, when mining had been suspended for several years. It was not fixed after confronting actual mining operations, when started, and their impact on people and environment,” the petition said.The petition said the present cap is subject to review as it is clear that “even 20 MT mineral extraction is deleterious to public health and environment”. The petition said the State does not have the infrastructure to handle such levels of extraction.It said the court should consider reducing the cap on mining in Goa to 5 MTPA.“At that level, mining could be conducted without damage to the environment, since it would be easier to monitor the activity and stop it immediately, if violations were observed,” the petition said.It said that though the mining industry was found to have damaged the environment of Goa in substantial, irreversible manner, as recorded in the reports of the Justice M.B. Shah Commission and the Central Empowered Committee, no rehabilitation of the damaged environment has even commenced despite mining having resumed, albeit on smaller scale, for the past two years.“In the current situation there is demonstrated proof that the mining industry is completely incapable and uninterested in balancing its interests with those of the environment and the villagers affected by their activities,” the petition said.A hearing has been scheduled in the matter for November 29.last_img

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