Current Affairs

Will POSCO verdict be the saving grace of Goa’s Environmental Woes?

The National Green Tribunal has suspended environmental clearance and ordered a fresh review POSCO’s – one of India’s largest-ever FDI deal, sending a clear message that environmental justice in this country is not lost and also giving hope to the Green Activists of Goa who have been fighting the environmental damaged being caused because of the extent of mining both legal and illegal mining.

The decision of the National Green Tribunal has now opened opportunities for activists in Goa to take environmental cases directly to this body, which was formed by the Supreme Court with a clear focus on environmental issues in the country. Legal sources who have raised environmental issues at the National Green Tribunal has told that this tribunal has been extremely firm on its protection of the environment agenda; the decision suspending the environmental clearance of POSCO indicates the seriousness of the tribunal in upholding and providing justice to matters of environmental concerns.

Goa has been plagued with rampant destruction on account of mining, which have extended into the forest covers of the state. The previous government had failed to keep in check the massive illegal mining and destruction of the environment. Even the current government though has raised the issue of illegal mining at state and national level, intend to focus more on the numerous small traders of iron ore rather than focus on the mining companies which have been committing extensive mining beyond permissible limits.

The estimated extent of illegal mining in Goa as per government own documents exceed over Rs 20,000 crore. But mining activists feel that most mining in Goa is illegal in the first place and natural resources are being utilized without any benefit to the state or the people and without any care for the environmental and health concerns.

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