Iron ore mining operations will still remain closed till various aspects of mining in the province are studied, decides Supreme Court.
Indian Government plans to resume iron ore mining in the western coastal province of Goa has come to a halt again, with the Supreme Court’s new verdict. The Apex Court has decided to set up fresh panels to look into different aspects of mining and to restrain the extracted raw material.
Supreme Court will establish two panels, one to determine the environment’s potential of mining operations while the other, to look after the conservation of the raw material for the upcoming decades. This decision by the Apex court has ended all hopes of the Provincial Government to resume mining in Goa for the next few months.
Mines Ministry has filed an affidavit to the court requesting to resume mining in Goa. Simultaneously, the Government of Goa has requested for permission to extract around 45 MnT of raw material annually and to transport 11 MnT of previously extracted ore lying in the mines.
State Government is keen for resumption of mining as it has left around 2 lakh workers and about 8 lakh contract labors jobless, creating social and economic disruptions.
Supreme Court had banned mining in Karnataka on July, 2011 and in Goa on October, 2012 owing to illegal mining operations. Later, Karnataka’s mining operations were resumed with permission from court in phases but in Goa the ban still remains. Ban in these states were implied on the basis of the report submitted by M B Shah Commission that accounted an estimated loss of around USD 4 billion to the economy of the country due to illegal mining activities.
India’s Planning Commission has scheduled a meeting this month with representatives of various mining ministries to discuss on ban on mining and frame the guidelines to approach the court for it.