Chief Minister Digambar Kamat in a letter addressed to Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh, has sought an amendment in the Coastal Regulation Zone Rules 2011 to permit sand mining from the rivers in Goa.
While pointing out that sand mining has been permitted in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg areas of neighbouring Maharashtra State, a similar exemption is sought for Goa.
The letter was necessitated in the wake of the agitation launched by sand extractors in Goa, particularly in North after their activity was declared illegal by the courts and also the MoEF.
Kamat in his letter argued that sand extraction has been the traditional occupation of some people in Goa and further pointed out that there is a shortage of sand in Goa which is required for construction and other infrastructural development.
While pointing out that sand extraction from rivers was carried out even prior to Goa’s liberation, he also said that by manually removing the sand from the rivers, the rivers were being desilted regularly.