Union Environment Ministry revokes suspension of Goa mines
Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has revoked 3 year-old suspension of environmental clearances (ECs) of mines in Goa. It was announced by Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar.
This decision will pave the way for resumption of iron ore extraction in the state especially in 72 out of the total 89 approved mining leases.
MoEF decision to lift the ban on mining was taken as per the directives of the Supreme Court (SC).
With revocation of mining suspension, state government now will decide the ore extraction limits for individual miners so that mining output does not exceed the cap of 20 million tonnes (mt) set by SC.
- In 2012, then Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan had suspended ECs for 93 mining leases in Goa.
- The ECs were suspended by her following the recommendations of report submitted by commission headed by former Supreme Court justice MB Shah.
- The commission in its report had highlighted rampant illegal extraction of the raw material in the state. The suspension had completely halted the iron ore mining in the state.
- In April 2014, SC had lifted this ban and had ruled that iron ore extraction in state will require clearances form MoEF and approval from the state government. The court also had set a cap of 20mt a year for all output in Goa.