PANJIM: Though State Government had initiated a few steps, following disclosure of the magnitude of illegalities in mining by Shah Commission report last week, activists, however, do not seem to be satisfied.
Now that illegalities of mining companies have come in full public view, they expect that mining companies should be compelled to pay back illegal profits cornered by them during last few years.
Ramesh Gawas, an activist operating from mining belt of Bicholim, speaking
to Herald on Thursday, said, “Chapter five of Shah Commission report has listed names of all mine owners who have encroached on Government land, including forest land. While calculating the losses the Commission has taken total encroached figures along with the depth of ore extracted and total excavation figures.”
“Same formula needs to be applied for individual mines and Government would be in a position to know the exact amount to be recovered from each mine owner,” said Gawas who strongly believes that it is high time mining companies are made to pay for environmental damages caused due to their excavations.
He suggested that damages recovered from mining companies will be handy to rehabilitate truck owners, barge owners and other mining-dependent people who are likely to be rendered unemployed due to strict control of mining, post Shah Commission report.
Environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar, said first of all, it is necessary that Government investigate into the illegalities of each mine owner and initiate criminal action against them.
“The inquiry would help Government to know the exact amount of illegalities conducted and the same could be recovered apart from Rs 35,000 crores, which we lost due to illegal encroachment,” Kerkar says.
Roughly, a mining company makes profits to the tune of Rs 1500 crore, annually. “So if we consider that 80 percent of profit earned by them is illegal, then Government has to recover it from them,” he reasoned.