A property owner from Dhulapi, Corlim, alleged that a resident from the same area carried out excavation on his land for mining ferro manganese ore without his permission for two days.
An area of about 400-500 sq m was excavated by using porcelain in the land admeasuring 25,000 sq m in a remote corner of Dhulapi, barely 500 m from the state highway.
A truck apparently loaded with the mineral was parked barely 100 m from the site while porcelain was found at the site when the owner, Jainath Dhulapkar, rushed to there on Thursday with some people from the village in the evening.
“We were informed about the illegal activity on my property,” Dhulapkar, an ayurvedic doctor, told TOI. The labourers had set ablaze a part of the plot three days ago and the mining commenced subsequently, a witness said.
The property owner said that there were some cashew and teak wood trees in the excavated part of the plot. “We came and stopped the activity at 3pm on Thursday,” Dhulapkar said.
No mining of iron ore or ferro manganese has been carried out in mainland Tiswadi. During the Portuguese era, iron ore and ferro manganese mining was carried out from concessions granted by the erstwhile regime on a small scale in Sanguem and Satari talukas. But major activity started after liberation, sources said. “It was always in the hinterland,” sources added. The excavation has been carried out close to a residential area and just 4 km from Old Goa church complex.
In another case, a complaint has been filed against NCP leader Jeetendra Deshprabhu in connection with mining in Corgao.
But the Old Goa police said they have not yet registered a case due to several factors. “We have received a complaint about illegal mining from one person, but he has not produced any documents to prove that the property belongs to him,” Old Goa PI Francis Corte told TOI on Thursday. The police inspected the site in the evening after receiving the complaint.
As excavation has been carried out at the site, the police will refer the matter to the town and country planning (TCP) department. “If the TCP files a case for further action, we can take it up,” Corte said. Further, he added that if a case of trespassing is to be registered, the owner has to produce property documents in support of his complaint.
Environmental activists appeared surprised by the report of mining activity closer to the coast. “We are happy that they are coming closer, and it would be better if they start mining in Panaji and Margao because technically there is ore everywhere,” environmentalist Claude Alvares said.