Goa to inspect safety of 100 mining operations

July 25th, 2011 - 9:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, July 25 (IANS) Within a month of two major mining accidents in the state, the Goa government has set up a high-level committee to inspect safety measures adopted at the 100-odd mining leases by company operators.

Speaking to reporters Monday, Mihir Vardhan, who is leading Goa’s natural disaster management committee (NDMC), said the committee will conduct an exhaustive review of the safety standards adopted at the mining operations.

“We will see whether safety instructions and protocol instituted by the directorate of mines safety are being adhered to by the mining companies at mining sites,” Vardhan said.

Officials from the state mines department, the Indian Bureau of Mines, the revenue department and industry stakeholders will be part of the monitoring committee, he said.

“Apart from examination of safety measures, we will also carry out a comprehensive safety plan for safer mining operations,” Vardhan said.

Three people were washed away, but saved later, on July 16 at the Vedanta Resources owned Sesa Goa, after the water-logged mining pit developed cracks and torrents of water burst out. While a government inspection report has suggested that technical faults caused the accident, a statement issued by the mining firm blamed the accident on excessive rains.

Last month, three people, including a site engineer, were killed and several others were injured in another mining accident at Cuddegal, at a mine owned by Sociedade Fomento pvt limited, after a piled stack of ore gave way and buried the three in mining sludge.

Goa is the highest exporter of iron ore in India and exports nearly 45 million tonnes of ore annually.

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