Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr. Shashi Kumar revealed that the licenses issued by the Forest Department to mining firms may well turn “invalid” after the expert committee reviews them.
The expert committee headed by noted environmentalist Madhav Gadgil is taking another look at the eco-sensitive spots in the Western Ghat region and will place its recommendations before the government.
Once the eco sensitive zones around wild life sanctuaries or forest areas are marked, the department will have no option but to cancel the licenses given to mining firms in those eco sensitive zones, he said.
He further pointed out that after the panel was formed on 4th March 2010, the department has given license on condition that the same will be withdrawn if required once the Gadgil committee submits its report.
It may be recalled that Dr Claude Alvares of Goa Foundation had accused the Forest Department of issuing licenses to carry out mining operations close to wild life sanctuaries which is in contravention to the Supreme Court orders.
However, while clarifying that the department has not issued any new licenses since 2009, Dr Kumar said that if any license was found to be in contravention to court orders, the same will be cancelled.