Goa govt to classify mining leases to boot out illegal traders

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Mining
Panaji, Apr 5: 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.

PTI

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