Processing sand mining EC for benefit of poor: Goa government, ET RealEstate

June 23, 2023

<p>Representative Image</p>
Representative Image

PANAJI: Even as four permissions for sand mining in the Chapora river have been challenged before the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the directorate of mines and geology (DMG) has told the Goa State Expert Appraisal Committee (Goa-SEAC) that the state had taken up the process of getting environment clearances for sand mining in Goa only ‘to help poor Goan villagers’. The state earns no revenue from sand mining, the DMG said.

During the hearing on an EC application for sand extraction in the Chapora river in Zone 3A and 4 held by Goa-SEAC, the DMG said in its submission that the government neither auctions the sand mining activity nor allots a large area to a single person on long-term lease.

“The government of Goa has not considered sand mining as a means to max-imise revenue (but) has treated it as a livelihood for the poor village people by allowing extraction by manual method only. Further, in order to help the poor village people, the government of Goa decided to take the responsibility of getting all the procedure done, including EC, upon itself,” the DMG stated in its submission.

The government, therefore, decided that the respective district collectors will apply for ECs and allow villagers to apply for sand mining permissions not exceeding 1,000 cubic metres per year, by manual method only, said the department. It was for this reason that the Goa Minor Mineral Concession (Amendment) Rules 2022 were notified, the DMG stated.

As per the rules, applications were called for sand mining from villagers and 130 applications were received, but none were granted as per the state’s submission before the NGT in January.

Applications were earlier called for Zones 1, 2, 5 and 6 in the Chapora river.

The DMG has now applied for environment clearance for sand mining in Zone 3A and 4.

After hearing the DMG, the Goa-SEAC said that the NGT has asked the state to keep the permissions on hold until the final hearing. However, the committee said it has decided to recommend the proposal for sand extraction in Zone 3A and 4 “only from the technical perspective” for now.

“Further decision will be taken by the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority,” the Goa-SEAC said at its meeting.

Besides the NGT directions, the Goa-SEAC has said that the recommendation is also subject to compliance with the Environment Management Plan, monitoring plan recommended by the National Institute of Oceanography and guidelines for Sustainable Sand Mining, 2016.

  • Published On Jun 1, 2023 at 03:00 PM IST

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