Goa to close mines near wildlife sanctuaries

 A wildlife sanctuary in Goa                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Speaking at the budget session of the Goa legislative assembly, Sequeira said that his ministry had received several complaints from the forest department, which said that there were several mines functioning within one kilometre of a wildlife sanctuary.

"The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has received letters from the forest department mentioning certain mines located within a kilometre of wildlife sanctuaries," Sequeira told the house.

The minister however did not specify the exact number of mines in the vicinity of the wildlife sanctuaries. "I assure the house, that within seven days, air and water consent given to these mines will be withdrawn and they will be directed to stop," he said.

Sequeira further said that the reconstitution of the GSPCB would help crack down on illegal mining.

"Each department was playing football with such complaints earlier. Now in the reconstituted GSPCB, all the heads of departments (related to mining) have been accommodated. I hope this will mean a coordinated team effort from now on. And these types of lapses will not happen," he said.

Leader of the opposition Manohar Parrikar alleged that nearly 18 percent of Goa's 33 million crore mining exports were fed by illegal mining.

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