No rules to regulate depth of mining pits: Kamat

July 30th, 2010 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, July 30 (IANS) Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat Friday disclosed that the state mining department has no rules in place to regulate the depth of mining pits.
“There are no norms/restrictions laid down regarding allowable depths of any mine,” Kamat, also a minister for mines, said in a written reply tabled during the monsoon session of the Goa assembly.

According to data provided by the union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF), nearly 60 percent of the 120 odd open cast iron and manganese ore mines are below the groundwater table, which has as a result triggered water scarcity in the hinterland towards the east of the state, which is riddled with large tracts of mining leases.

The MoEF had also also directed several mining outfits in Goa to conduct a hydro geological survey of the areas in which mining pits had been drilled below the available water table.

The state mining department has been accused of large scale corruption by the opposition and civil society of allowing large scale illegal and uncontrolled mining with complete disregard to environmental norms.

The MoEF has already imposed a moratorium on granting any further mining leases in Goa until the state government conducts a “comprehensive environmental impact assessment of all mining activities”.

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