SC bans transportation of illegally mined ore from Goa

Asks Centre, state to continue with ban on mining in the state

By Anupam Chakravartty
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

The Supreme Court of India banned transportation of illegally mined iron and manganese ore from Goa on Friday, and asked the state as well as the Central government to continue with the ban on mining in the state  till further notice. The apex court gave the order on a petition filed by Goa Foundation, a non-profit from the state, which has cited the Justice M B Shah Commission's report on illegal mining and export of iron ore in Goa.

The court has, meanwhile, asked the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) appointed by it to file a report within four weeks. The committee would determine the extent of losses as well as illegalities involved in exporting iron ore from the state. Earlier, on September 10, Goa’s Department of Mines and Geology (DMG) had imposed a ban on mining till October.

However, Goa Foundation, which filed the petition after the release of the Shah Commission report on September 7, stated that all the 90 mines in the state were functioning without the mandatory permission from the National Board of Wild Life (NBWL) and that 33 of these mines were within 1.5 km within the eco-sensitive zones notified by NBWL.

The M B Shah Commission report had noted that most of the companies involved in the mining encroached upon agricultural lands and water bodies while mining from overburden dumps. The mining companies, according to the Shah Commission, did not pay any royalty while exploiting these dumps to meet export commitments.

Following the report of the commission, all the mining activities were banned till the state DMG estimated the losses. However, as per Supreme Court's directions, CEC will now determine the losses incurred by the state's exchequer owing to the large scale illegal mining in the state.

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