South collector to review ban on ore transportation
MARGAO: Will the district administration, South buckle under pressure from mining companies and grant the go-ahead signal for transportation of ore during monsoons.
This question is doing the rounds in the District Collectorate and amongst NGOs and police as the powerful mining companies have knocked the doors of the district Collector, South N D Agrawal for lifting of the ban on ore transportation.
By Order dated June 11, the district Collector had ordered a stop to the movement of mining traffic, including trucks, tippers etc during rainy season after being satisfied
that it is necessary in “people’s interest
and school going children and to avoid accidents”. The order banned mining traffic with immediate effect in the talukas of Quepem, Sanguem and Dharbandora and was expected to remain in force till September.
Hit hard by the ban bringing mining traffic to a halt, sources in the know said that big time people involved in mining immediately lobbied hard for a review of the order.
In fact, in their representation to the district Collector, mining companies maintained that only lumpy ore is ferried during monsoon and fines are not shipped due to logistical issues.
NGOs and the police appear unconvinced by the arguments advanced by the companies. Says activist Sidharth Karapurkar: “Clearing a dump will disturb its stability and chances are they might come sliding down in the fields. Moreover, let people of the three talukas have some respite from pangs of mining transportation throughout the year”.
Sources in the Police department informed that they have made their position crystal clear that any review of the order might bring the people on the streets, resulting in a law and order problem.
Incidentally, both the Quepem police and Sub-Divisional Magistrate had maintained that it is dangerous to the safety of the people to carry on ore transportation during rainy season. “Due to transportation of iron ore during rainy season, people face lot of problems such as dirty mud. Iron ore particles falling on the road from mining trucks renders the road slippery, inconveniencing school going children to walk and motorists to ride their two wheelers”, Quepem police had stated in their report to the Collector.
Sources in the district Collectorate say that the district Collector is under pressure to review his order. It is learnt that representations have come from certain quarters to review the ban.
When contacted, the district Collector said that no decision is yet been taken on the issue. “We are taking into account the views of various stake holders including the citizens. I will give my decision this week”, Agrawal told Herald.