Tuesday 24 October 2017

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Economy | Mining

NGT orders 25 miners to appear before MoEF, face closure threat

 

The National Green Tribunal had directed 25 mining leaseholders of Goa to appear before the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 7th September, in connection with the alleged invalid environment clearance they are holding.

According to Goa Foundation Director Dr Claude Alvares, who is one of the petitioners, the Bombay high court had shut down a mine leased out to M/s Talaulikar & Sons Pvt for holding a similar ‘invalid’ environment clearance.

If the MoEF applies similar criteria, it may result into closing down of 25 mines which are operating with similar kind of environment clearances.

The NGT has also directed the MoEF to dispose of the matter by 23rd September after hearing the 25 miners.

It has fixed the next hearing on 11th October.

The order is also related to the order passed by the Supreme Court in the matter of M/s Talaulikar & Sons Pvt Ltd on 12th July last year.

According to the press note issued by Goa Foundation, the order came to be passed on an application filed by Shankar Jog and Goa Foundation which moved the NGT on the grounds that the MoEF was not taking any action to comply with the judgement of the Supreme Court in the case of these 25 mining leases to which the Talaulikar judgement clearly applied. 

THE BACKGROUND

The litigation is the case filed by Shankar Jog against M/s. Talaulikar & Sons Pvt Ltd before the Bombay High Court (Panaji) where Shankar Jog had argued that the environment clearance granted to M/s Talaulikar & Sons was only valid for 5 years since environment clearances granted under the 1994 EIA notification could only be given for 5 years. 

The Bombay High Court accepted Jog’s contention and directed M/s. Talaulikar & Sons to get an environment clearance within three months or face closure.

 

Eventually, the mine was shut and has remained shut till date since it does not have an EC. 

M/s Talaulikar & Sons appealed the High Court judgement in the Supreme Court, which refused to stay the High Court’s judgement.

In its judgement dated 12th July 2016 disposing of the appeal, the Supreme Court quashed the order issued by the Environment Ministry in 2007 extending the environment clearance of M/s Talaulikar beyond the initial period of two years.

The SC did not go into the issue of whether the 1994 EIA Notification clearance was of 5 years validity. 

The Environment Ministry had granted a conditional environment clearance for two years in 2005 to M/s Talaulikar stipulating that the party had to carry out a hydrogeological study within the period and submit it for consideration. 

The Supreme Court found that though the hydrogeological study was produced two years later, the MoEF extended the term of the environment clearance without holding a public hearing in connection with the hydrogeological study. 

It therefore set aside the MOEF 2007 order, accepting the hydrogeological study without a public hearing.

Both Shankar Jog and the Goa Foundation found that a total of 56 other mining leases also fell under the same set of circumstances as the Talaulikar mining lease. 

Accordingly, the Goa Foundation addressed a letter to the MoEF on 23rd September 2016 drawing its attention to the fact that of the 52 mining leases, 25 mining leases were now operating on the basis of similar two year old environment clearances and in all these cases fresh environment clearances were required.

As the Ministry did not respond, the Goa Foundation and Shankar Jog jointly petitioned the NGT. 





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Pollution will increase all over Goa with illegal Mining & with illegal Coal that all Goans has to run for the protection to the neighbouring states of India or abroad! Those who will remain in Goa will have to die very soon with pollution related diseases. Also Congress baby (Mopa Airport) nourished by BJP is coming very soon, where all greenery (oxygen) will be destroyed and Pollution will increased in many folds.

 
Jack De Goan , Goa

Supreme Court's orders are clear. There is no ambiguity. But mining companies with help of high-end lawyers, actively added by the Ministry of Env. and Forest (which has always acted in favour of mining and against interest of Environment and Forest, since its creation) will claim ambiguity and will go on asking for adjournments, not allowing any decision against them. After all this is their modus operandi.

 
Shankar Jog , Sancordem, GOA

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