Mining upto 27.5 mn tons sustainable in Goa: Committee

Mining upto 27.5 mn tons sustainable in Goa: Committee

The Supreme Court constituted monitoring committee has said Goa can sustain extraction of iron ore to the tune 27.5 million tons annually, but has recommended 20 million tons as the permissible limit.

The committee, which analysed various existing data from different sources and studied the relevant literature, has said that mining at the rate of 20 to 27.5 million tons per annum appears sustainable.

"In fact our data shows that mining is sustainable to the tune of 27.5 million tons," says the report tabled before the apex court, which is hearing the case related to illegal mining in Goa.The committee in its recommendations, however, has scaled down the permissible limit to 20 million tons per annum with adequate monitoring of impact on different ecological and environmental parameters, which will also help the committee in its future appraisal.

"To eliminate the element of subjectivity, due to the time constraints and limitation of available authentic time series data relating to mineral resources and environmental impact of mining in the state, the committee suggests that mining be permitted to be carried out at the level of 20 million tons," the report reads.

The committee has also said that the capping will continue to be at 20 million tons till the scientific study by them is completed, which may take about 12 months more.The apex court banned mining in Goa since September 2012 after Justice M B Shah Commission pointed out to the illegalities in the industry.

The banning of the industry has left around one lakh people in the lurch.The SC-appointed committee has expressed the need to regulate the mining that ensures minimum damage to ecological systems of Goa.

"It may not be desirable to start fresh extraction without adequate regulatory and technological measures that ensure restoration of degraded landscapes and eco systems and minimise future damages to the environment," the committee has added.

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