Goa asks 100 mines to beef up monsoon maintenance

July 22nd, 2011 - 4:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, July 22 (IANS) The Goa government has asked the 100-odd operational open cast iron ore mines in Goa to beef up monsoon maintenance operations after two mining accidents killed three people and left at least a dozen others injured.

Director for Mines Arvind Lolienkar told IANS Friday that while no ore excavation operations were conducted during the monsoon season because the mining pits were waterlogged, the mining companies have been asked to take steps to ensure that accidents do not happen.

“There have been two (accidents) already this year. We do not want any more to happen,” Lolienkar said.

Three people were washed away, but saved later, on July 16 at the Vedanta Resources-owned Sesa Goa after the waterlogged mining pit developed cracks and torrents of water burst out.

While a government inspection report has suggested that technical faults caused the accident, in its statement the mining firm blamed the accident on excessive rains.

“Due to incessant rains of about 200 mm in about eight hours in continuation of consistent heavy rains during last three days, water has flowed in to the adjoining areca-nut plantation and paddy fields,” the statement by the company’s general manager M.K. Reddy said.

“And this has occurred in spite of taking best mine management practices. The matter is being technically investigated for future mitigating measures in all mines of Sesa,” Reddy added.

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. In that accident, a piled stack of ore gave way and buried the three in mining sludge.

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