Ore extraction at Goa mining leases to stop by March 13

Panaji, Mar 7 (IANS): Extraction of iron ore from all 88 mining leases in Goa will cease from March 13, transportation of iron ore will be halted from March 14 and remaining stacks of ore in the mining pits will be photographed for record-keeping, before eventually closing down all mines on March 15, Goa's Mines and Geology Department Director Prasanna Acharya said on Tuesday.

In a statement issued here, Acharya said the protocol had been evolved to systematically wind down mining operations, on the directions of a Supreme Court last month which directed that all mining operations should cease by March 15 and the leases issued afresh.

"The following instructions are issued to the deputy directors of Mines department and technical staff for implementation of the judgment of Supreme Court," Acharya said.

The order has triggered a political storm in Goa, with a multi-party delegation of MLAs meeting central ministers on Monday, urging them to ensure that the mining leases are renewed again to existing lease holders, arguing that issuance of fresh leases was a long drawn process and that the mining sector would take a hit if ore extraction stopped.

"Lease holders through officers and officials of leases should be made know that no transportation shall be allowed after 6.00 p.m. on March 14," the statement read.

The apex court order followed a petition by a Goa-based NGO Goa Foundation, which challenged the government's decision to renew mining leases to the same mining companies, which have been accused of a Rs 35,000 crore illegal mining scam.

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Title : Ore extraction at Goa mining leases to stop by March 13


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