The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) at its meeting on Friday gave the 40 mining companies 60 days time to produce the relevant licenses and permissions under the air and water acts to commence operations.
These companies were issued Show Cause Notices in September 2009 as it was observed that they did not have the requisite licenses. However, GSPCB Chairman Simon de Souza justified the extension in time on grounds that the Forest Department began the process late.
The GSPCB also decided to set up real time air ambience monitoring stations in the mining areas which have been identified in the talukas of Quepem, Sanguem, Sattari and Bicholim. Each of these stations cost around Rs. 50 lakhs.
While the fate of these 40 mines will be decided in another two months, the GSPCB has decided not to permit any new mines to operate till the mining policy is finalized.
Chief Minister Digambar Kamat however while speaking to Goa Chronicle said the mining policy cannot be finalized till the Union Government finalises the Mines and Minerals Regulation Act which is undergoing a major revamp.