Wednesday, 23 January, 2019

Transportation of ore: Goa Foundation files rejoinder

26th April 2018, 07:53 Hrs

the goan I network


The transportation of ore mined before March 15 does not currently have consent from the Goa State Pollution Control Board, the Goa Foundation has told the Bombay High Court at Goa which is hearing a petition on the issue

Filing a rejoinder to the affidavit filed by the Chief Secretary, who defended the transportation of ore, the Goa Foundation has also argued that the Goa government has sought to ‘waylay’ the intent of the Supreme Court’s order of February 7, which decreed that all the mining lease renewals were invalid.  

“The Pollution Control Board revoked its consent orders under the Air and Water Acts on 16.3.2018. Thus, none of the former leaseholders had a valid consent under the Air and Water Acts required to carry out any transportation of ore post 16.3.2018 (and neither was this fact brought to the notice of the Hon’ble Supreme Court when it passed its order dated 4.4.2018),” the Goa Foundation told the Bombay High Court at Goa.  

“Regulation of transport of minerals outside leases is explicitly part of the terms and conditions of the consent orders issued under both Air and Water Acts which cover extraction and transport,” the Goa Foundation citing the case of Sonshi where “because transport of minerals through Sonshi village violated environment norms, that consent to operate the mines from which the transport was conducted was revoked by the Board.”  

The Goa Foundation has also argued that the Supreme Court had declared the mining leases as invalid since the year 2007 and the government’s claims that the mining leaseholders have ‘rights’ over the extracted ore presently lying at various locations would hold no water.  

The State government had argued that transportation of ore did not amount to ‘mining operations’ and hence would not have to cease on March 15, earlier this year. “It is the well-settled law that even if, for the sake of argument, mining operations were limited to the terms and definitions given in the MMDR Act, 1957, these could only be carried out by the persons concerned having a valid lease and a valid EC. In not a single case, were any of these 

available. They had all been quashed. 

The Bombay High Court at Goa had initially stopped the transportation of ore 

through an interim order until the Chief Secretary filed an affidavit to state that the transport of the ore was within the ambit of the Supreme 

Court’s order.