Current Affairs

Gaonkar files petition in SC against illegal mining

Antonio Gaonkar has filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court over the issue of illegal mining in the state. Gaonkar is the leader of the erstwhile Save Goa Front party which was recently derecognized.

Gaonkar, in the petition, has sought directions from the apex court to the concerned authorities “that the boundaries of all the mining leases be determined/demarcated” by the Survey of India, mines department, forest department and revenue department of the state.

The petition raises pertinent questions like “whether the mining activity in Goa can be legal when not a single mining lease and/or prospecting licence was granted since 2001”, “whether mining activity can be allowed even when there is no forest clearance from the ministry of environment and forests as in the case of 32 mines”, and “no environmental, wildlife, air and water clearance” in the case of three mining companies. The petition has raised questions over the legality of mining through “raising contractors like urban development minister Joaquim Alemao when they operate the mines without being registered with or recognized by the directorate of mines or any other authority under the Mines and Minerals Regulation and Development Act, especially when such mining on private lands goes on unaccounted “.

Gaonkar has pointed out that besides Alemao, Vedanta (Sesa Goa), Minescape (Dinar Tarcar) and Timblo Pvt Ltd are operating several mines as “raising contractors”. Gaonkar, in the petition, has also made a case for handing over mining activity in Goa to public sector undertaking “for compliance of various provisions of Mines and Minerals laws and Forest and Wildlife laws in order to end the menace of illegal mining.”

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