Pollution Board directive not only to stop the extraction but also transportation of ore
PANJIM: The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has revoked cum cancelled the ‘Consent to Operate’ granted to 79 iron ore mining leases in the State, thereby directing them not just to stop the extraction but also the ore transportation.
On this ground, the lease holders cannot undertake any kind of transportation activities from the lease bound areas to the jetties.
As many as 54 consents to operate under Air and Water (prevention and control of pollution) Act and Hazardous Waste Rule were issued to 79 mining leases for the purpose of extraction, processing and transportation of iron ore for a specified quantity in the State.
Of these 79, only 34 mining leases were operational for the current financial year producing total 10.58 million tons of fresh material.
Following Supreme Court order dated February 7 that quashed second renewals granted to 88 mining leases while directing them to stop operations from March 16 onwards, the Board following legal opinion revoked / cancelled the consent to operate.
“In this regard, the Board has issued cancellation/ revocation orders, cancelling/ revoking the Consent to Operate orders issued by it to various mining units in the State under the Water Act, Air Act and Hazardous waste Rules,” Board official said.
“Vide the said revocation order, the Board has informed the mining units that as the said units cannot operate after March 15 in light of the Supreme Court order, the consent to operate issued by the Board stood cancelled/revoked with immediate effect,” official added.
Official said that the following Supreme Court order, these leases have no valid environment clearances (ECs) and until fresh leases and ECs are granted, Board will be in no position to grant Consents to operate.
What is interesting is that, while the Directorate of Mines and Geology (DMG) had allowed transportation of ore, lying outside lease bound areas, the lessees had no valid consent from the pollution authority to undertake the said transportation.
“We will study the air ambient quality in the mining areas on case to case basis and if any violations are reported than show cause will be served to the leaseholders,” official said. The decision in this regard was also taken during the recently held Board meeting.