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Goa revokes ban on mining


                                                                                                                                  The Times of India, Panaji, 16th January, 2015

PANAJI: The state government on Thursday issued an order revoking its 2012 order that had halted the over 60-year-old-mining industry in Goa. The new order will pave the way for the resumption of mining activities in the state, pending the lifting of the ban imposed by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF).
 
The Supreme Court had lifted the ban on April 21, 2014. But mining operations has remained suspended pending finalizing new policy.
 
The state government had banned mining activities in Goa on September 10, 2012, even before the Supreme Court had imposed the ban in October 2012.
 
"The government of Goa hereby revokes order dated September 10, 2012, with immediate effect," states the order signed by Prasanna Acharya, director of mines and geology. It further states that the Supreme Court had upheld the government's suspension order and had allowed it to continue till the state government decided to grant fresh leases.
 
Further, the order states that the state government has taken a policy decision to process renewal applications in terms of provisions under Section 8(3) of MMDR Act and has accordingly started processing renewal applications. "The government is of the considered view that continuance of the state government suspension order is not required," states the new order.
 
The state government had suspended mining activities in September 2012, after the Shah commission report on illegal mining in Goa was tabled in Parliament. The Supreme Court while lifting the ban had done so on the condition that the state issue fresh leases. The state has already issued an order to renew 70 mining leases, and 36 mining lease deeds including those of the Salgaocars and Timblos have been signed.
 
Speaking to TOI, Shivanand Salgaocar, president of the Goa mineral ore exporters association (GMOEA), the main trading body of mine owners, said the latest order is the first step after renewal towards the resumption of mining in the state.
 
"We will now request the ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEF) to revoke their order keeping environmental clearances in abeyance," said Salgaocar.
 
Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar had recently written to the MoEF minister highlighting the "urgent need to commence forthwith legal and regulated mining operations" and had requested the withdrawal of the ministry's abeyance order of September 14, 2012.
 
When the state government suspended mining activities, Goa had 90 operational mines of the existing 337 mining leases, which had exported 42 million tonnes of iron ore to China, Japan, and a few European countries during 2011-12.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/Goa-revokes-ban-on-mining/articleshow/45903724.cms