In a bid to identify “rogue” traders, Goa Government has decided to classify all the 90-odd mining leases in the state into three different categories depending on their mining status.State Mines and Geology department has decided to embark on a massive exercise which includes personal visits to all the mining leases, checking records, licenses and segregating them according to their legal status. “Those (leases) which are having all the permissions will be marked as green, those awaiting licenses from authorities after applying for permissions will be marked brown and those which have absolutely no permissions will be coded red,” Director of Mines and Geology, Prasanna Acharya, told reporters yesterday.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has cracked the whip to break the backbone of illegal mining in the state after he took over the reigns of the state. Soon after suspending controversial mining director Arvind Lolienkar and replacing him with Acharya, the chief minister came up with the idea of classifying the mines.
Two separate teams, each led by officer to the rank of deputy director would visit these mines to check records. The ore extracted from a mine coded ‘red’ and ‘brown’ would be considered as illegal while only mines marked ‘green’ can tap and export the minerals.
Acharya further said that several mines which are not extracting ore were exporting minerals by excavating the old mining rejects lying around in the state. Goa government has banned handling of these dumps till further orders, he said. To ensure transparency in issuing NOCs to mining firms that approach the department for shipping the ore, the mining department has decided to accept the royalty payment for the same online.
“Making payment of royalty and issuing NOC online will go a big way in curbing illegally operating traders and exporters,” Acharya said, adding the information pertaining to the mining leases including their permissible capacity to extract ore will be uploaded on government website. State-run PSU Goa Electronics Limited has been assigned the task to design the software which will help online payment and also to keep tab on the ore exported, mined and permitted as per the Environmental Clearance.