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Goa Mining Case Day 3

-Claude Alvares

Third day of the Goa mining case in the Supreme Court. Prashant was present, but AG Goa was not found in the Court room the entire day. Hearings were halted at 4 pm, and will be resumed next Tuesday. Court has indicated it will hear the matter till the end and pass judgement. Good news for all.

Goa Foundation Logo

Goa Foundation Logo

First thing the Court did in the morning was to pass an order transferring around 10-12 writ petitions filed by mining companies and lease holders in the Bombay High Court (Panaji bench) against the Justice Shah Commission of Inquiry Report to the present bench to be heard and disposed of with the Goa Foundation petition. The Bombay High Court was directed to produce the record of all the petitions in the Supreme Court in one week.

Advocate appearing for Goa Paryavaran Suraksha Samittee (GPSS) informed the Court his client had filed over one hundred claims against over 100 mining companies for damage done by their individual mines before the NGT. Some of the companies had filed appeals against the NGT order entertaining his petition there, and they were listed in the office report of WP No.435. He therefore asked to be heard during the proceedings as well. Court assented.

The hearings commenced around 11.30 am with ADN Rao explaining the various findings of the CEC report (you can download the main text of the CEC report from www.goafoundation.org). That took the matter till 4 pm. The Court will resume ADN Rao on Tuesday morning before it goes to the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Mines. Goa government will be heard last.

Breach of Sesa Goa mine site at Mulgao Photo Courtesy: Goa Foundation

Breach of Sesa Goa mine site at Mulgao
Photo Courtesy: Goa Foundation

Lawyer for the Ministry of Environment was present in the morning, but disappeared in the afternoon. Court was extremely annoyed. Asked for officers from both ministries to remain present from Tuesday onwards to answer questions. Ministry of Environment is acting like a cat on a hot tin roof, periodically doing the disappearing act.

Court came down heavily on destruction of bureaucracy. It said earlier the bureaucracy provided the steel frame for governance. Now officers were writing notes to favour decisions. The bureaucracy had been shattered and its backbone demolished. It was referring to the questionable decisions taken with the support of bureaucrats who should have advised their masters properly. It found several legal opinions drafted by Advocates General of Goa which actually legitimised illegal decisions or made illegal actions into legal ones.

Encroachment by V.M Salgaocar & I.Ltd of Vasco da Gama in Surla village

Encroachment by V.M Salgaocar & I.Ltd of Vasco da Gama in Surla village

As per the findings of the CEC report, 19 environment clearances were issued for mining in the Netravali wildlife sanctuary despite Supreme Court orders; another 23 were granted environment clearances in the 1 km safety zone from the boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries and another 120 had been given environment clearances in the 10 km zone without reference to the National Board of Wildlife despite the Supreme Court’s order dated 4.12.2006 in an earlier Goa Foundation petition No.460/2004. This may turn out to be a massacre. Goa may never be the same again.

Met Christopher Fonseca and Suhas Naik during lunch. Christopher said this bench would pass a judgement that would put right what had gone wrong in the mining industry in the State.

The judges were extremely concerned about the impact of mining around the wildlife sanctuaries and implementation of the provisions of the Wildlife Act, 1971. They asked for the penal provisions to be read, if persons were found damaging the wildlife habitats.

 Justice Patnaik Photo courtesy: nluo.ac.in

Justice Patnaik
Photo courtesy: nluo.ac.in

Now we rest till Tuesday next, but it is a pleasure to be in this courtroom. The presiding judge, Justice Patnaik, has a great sense of humour and keeps the people quite entertained and relaxed. Bye for now!

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Eid Mubarak‬

Eid Mubarak‬

May this festival shower you & family with love, peace, goodness & togetherness. Have a Happy & Blessed Eid.

Photo source: clevercookies.edublogs.org

HOME – MADE BOOK-MARKS

Are you so very much fascinated to read books? if Yes, I’m sure you’d very much use a “book-mark” while you do so. Aren’t you bored of BUYING things more often than doing something yourself that would bring out the best in you? Are you willing enough to bring out your hidden interest of Art & craft? Are you so worn out that you just need to find ways to spend time doing something constructive?
Here’s something you can do or teach anyone to do to unleash your talents at Art. All you need is a little bit of TIME & PATIENCE. Here before you is a short step-wise method of preparing a Book-Mark yourself. So there you go…
 

Requirements:

  •       Tinted paper (any colour of your choice)
  •       Glue
  •       Paper-punch/ special scissors with desired shape of cut-outs/ designs (available at any stationary)
  •       Pair of Scissors
  •       Ribbon (any colour)
  •       Cardboard (2mm thickness)
  •       Ruler, pencil & glitter pens (any colour)

Method:

Measure & cut out the cardboard of desired dimensions for the book-mark (preferably 20 x 5cm) and keep it aside.

 

Measure & cut out two sets of tinted paper (a) 20 x 5cm & (b) 18 x 4cm and keep it aside (preferably of two contrasting colours per set).

Using the paper-punch of required design punch the tinted paper of 18 x 4cm.

 

The paper border can also be cut using special scissors to give a good effect.

Stick the tinted paper of 20 x 5cm dimension onto the cardboard on one-side leaving the other side free.

Now stick the tinted paper of 18 x 4cm dimension onto the cardboard having the tinted paper previously stuck.

Punch a hole at the top left hand corner of the newly designed cardboard with the tinted paper.

Using the glitter pens, a few wordings can be written on the punched paper which is stuck on the cardboard (optional).

Pass a ribbon of suitable colour through the punched hole, make a knot at the centre and leave its ends free.

Leave it to dry for some time. Your book – mark is now ready to use/ to be gifted.

Note: Avoid using chart paper as it is too thick to be punched by the special punch. Instead, any paper of very fine thickness can be used.

Try it out and revert back to us with your feedback.

Does the Goa Government order call for a complete ban of all Mining Operations?

No! It’s not a complete ban. However it is true that the Goa Government has ordered temporary suspension of all mining operations in the State of Goa with effect from 11th of September, 2012. But this does not imply to the ore that has already been mined.

Photo courtesy: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint

The order (No. DMG/MAJ/ML/TSUS/01/8326) passed by Directorate of Mines & Geology stated that “it is necessary in order to scrutinize clearances obtained by the mining lease holders and allowing continuation of mining without proper scrutiny and verification of requisite approval.”

Photo courtesy: http://www.goenche.com

But does the order call for a complete ban of all mining operations?

The order states that “the suspension of mining operation shall not affect trade and transportation of ore already mined and existing in the lease hold area, in transit or stored or stocked on the jetties.” Therefore it implies the mining companies are free to transport and export ore which has already been mined.

The order also states that, “the lease holders or traders who have procured such quantities of ore shall report the exact quantum of ore with grade and other details of ore and exact location of existence of ore, within a period of seven days to the Directorate of Mines & Geology, Goa.”

The Director of Mines & Geology shall constitute teams for inspection of the quantities of ore lying at the lease hold area or such places as mentioned by the lease holders or the traders. The Team Members shall be randomly selected from Mines, Forest and Revenue Department.

There shall be a verification and clearance committee. The Committee shall expeditiously scrutinize the documents, papers and approvals etc as per a check list to be notified separately in respect of each mining lease so that those who have valid clearance are allowed to commence mining operations for the rest of the season.

This decision to suspend mining operations in Goa came after Shah Commission headed by Justice MB Shah exposed the loss suffered due to illegal ore extraction to Rs. 34935,92,88,000 accused the industry of carrying out mining in 578.42 hectares of land.

Meanwhile the Shah Commission has indicted various state government agencies namely the Mines and Geology Department, Forest Department, Pollution Control Board as well as Central Government Agencies namely those functioning under the aegis of the Union Ministry for Mines and Environment and Forests. The report has also squarely blamed former Chief Minister, Digambar Kamat and other bureaucrats linked to the ministry as the main architects of the illegal mining scam, along with major mining industry players such as Dempo Mining Co-operation, VS Dempo, Vedanta-owned Sesa Goa, VM Salgaocar, Shantilal Kushaldas, Chowgule, Timblo.

The Shah Commission’s Report has sent shivers to the spines of not just former Chief Minister, Digambar kamat and Pratapsingh Rane and mining companies but has also put present Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar into a tight spot as he himself stated that there is no illegal mining in Goa, a statement that was dubbed by many as Parrikar’s U-turn from illegal mining in 2011 to no illegal mining in 2012.