Goa govt to amend rules to curb illegal mining

State Mines and Geology Department Director Arvind Lolienkar said the process to amend 'Goa Prevention of Illegal Mining and Transportation and Storage of Mineral Rules, 2004' has already begun.

"The rules would be amended and ready to be implemented by next mining season, starting in October this year," Lolienkar said.

Goa has 105 operational mining sites from which 45 million metric tones of iron ore is exported to various countries. Considering the huge demand for iron ore, there are several illegal mining sites that have sprung up creating a massive ecological menace in the tiny state.

As per the government figures, 1.25 crore square metres of land has been diverted for mining purpose during the last three years in the state and the mining mainly happens in Goa's ecologically sensitive talukas, which are nestled in the Western Ghat region.

Lolienkar said the state government has decided to properly regulate various stakeholders associated with the mining industry.

As per the new rules, all the trucks working for mining firms would have to be registered with the mines department. Also, ships carrying iron ore from different jetties will also have to be registered with the mining department, he said.

The state is also contemplating the possibility of making mine owners responsible for the overloading of minerals done by the trucks.

"There are several amendments that would be executed. The rules will make everybody responsible including mine owners," Lolienkar said.

Goa Prevention of Illegal Mining and Transportation and Storage of Mineral Rules, 2004, which were originally meant to register the traders in the mining sector will now cover all the stakeholders.

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