Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has directed two mines operating close to Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa to stop their operations. The MOEF order has observed that both the mines Gangadhar Narsinghdas Agrawal and Pandurang Timblo Industries, have no clearance from the National Board for Wildlife as both these mining leases operate within 10 kms away from the wildlife sanctuary.
MoEF Director P B Rastogi has asked both the mines to shut their operations for violating section 5 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. Rastogi has asked the units to henceforth stop all the project activities with immediate effect and the compliance of the directions should be reported within 15 days from the date of issue of the directive.
The directions from MoEF came after its regional office, based at Bangalore, inspected the mining leases and found that they were not implementing various conditions and environmental safeguards. The mining lease holders had even submitted their reply to the MoEF, but the ministry was not satisfied as the mine owners had not obtained the requisite clearance from the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife as was required to be obtained pursuant to the order of the Supreme Court dated December 04, 2006.