In fresh trouble for the mining industry in Goa, the Pollution Control Board has refused operating consent to all 107 mining leases in the State under the Air and Water Pollution Control Act.

The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB), in its order yesterday said since the case against these mining leases is pending with the Supreme Court, their application for consent stands withdrawn.

The apex court is hearing the petition filed by NGO Goa Foundation against illegal mining activity in the State, pending which all mines have been asked to stop operations.

GSPCB Chairman Jose Manuel Noronha, who heard the petitions filed by the mining firms before the board, said the apex court has halted mining operations, the board cannot renew consent under the Air and Water Pollution Act to these mining leases.

The consent to operate under these Acts expired on July 31, 2012. The mining firms will have to re-apply once the Supreme Court decides on the matter, Noronha said.

The State’s mining industry is in the doldrums after the Supreme Court halted mining operations asking the Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) to investigate illegal mining in the State.

(This article was published on December 11, 2012)
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