Both the companies had lost the case filed against them by the villagers who have been fighting to save the rivulet from being polluted by these mining firms since the year 2006. The sub divisional magistrate (SDM) has asked both the companies to stop their operations.
Lithoferro mines has been told to pay the cost of rehabilitating the nullah while Sesa Goa, which has already stopped its phase I and II of mining in the area, has been asked to stop phase III. Goa Foundation, an NGO, had joined hands with locals who had filed a complaint under section 133 of CrPC before the district administration.
The petition was also filed in the high court after the village was flooded with mining silt following heavy monsoon on June 6, 2009. The high court had asked the SDM of Bicholim area to hear the complaint and act in the matter. The villagers of Varchavadda and Kolamb had filed a complaint alleging the mining operations, which were being carried on in the hill behind their settlement, had become a permanent danger to their lives and peace of mind.
They had alleged widespread disruption of nullahs and creation of conditions leading to flooding. Pursuant to the complaint, the first notice to the companies was issued on May 25, 2006.
Further during proceedings, another notice was sent to various authorities on April 29, 2008, asking for detailed technical reports. Villagers’ fears became a reality when the village was flooded on June 6, 2009, and the mining debris and silt entered people’s homes.