BICHOLIM MINES ORDERED TO STOP ITS OPERATIONS

BICHOLIM: The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) has issued a show cause notice to the management of a mine company, at Sarvan-Bicholim, and has asked the mine company not to undertake any mining activity, without first obtaining permission under Section 21, from the GSPCB.
According to sources, the GSPCB has asked the mining company to produce all the necessary and relevant documents, for scrutiny and has also served a notice to the said company, asking to show cause as to why the licence of this mine company should not be cancelled.
The mine company management had asked to hear its plea on February 1, 2011 accordingly, the GSPCB, had asked the mine company management to remain present on March 8, 2011 for hearing of the case.
At a previous hearing on March 8, the mine company management had informed the GSPCB that it had not undertaken any sort of construction or other work at the said mine. However a complaint was lodged with the GSPCB, on March 14, about work undertaken by the mine company management at the said mining site.
Acting on this complaint, the officers of GSPCB and the Tillari project, visited the site at Sarvan on March 23, and inspected the ongoing work and mining activity at the site. The officers found that work involving cement and concrete was ongoing on to construct a weigh bridge.
The GSPCB has accused the mining company of illegal activity and has asked the management to stop the work immediately, and has also served a show cause notice, asking why action should not be taken under Sections 37 and 40 of Pollution Control Act against the said company.
It has been also mentioned in the show cause notice, that if the mining company management fails to give satisfactory compliance, the licence of the company will be cancelled.
In the meantime, the environmental activist, Mr Ramesh Gawas, said that the mining site is located close to the Bicholim river at Vathadev, and the agricultural land and tree plantations, including cashew plantations, which are located at Vathadev village.
Mr Gawas said that if this mine is allowed to operate, then the environment, plantations, fields and forest would be destroyed. He also pointed that the Tillari water canal passes through this area and the land comes under the Tillari dam command area.
In view of this, the government should not allow any mining activity at Vathadev and Sarvan village area, and the licence of the mine company should be canceled immediately, he said.  Appreciating the steps taken by the GSPCB, Mr Gawas said that the GSPCB should follow the law and should not succumb to any sort of pressure.

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