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NGT slaps penalty on state govt over failure to close mining pits scientifically

NGT slaps penalty on state govt over failure to close mining pits scientifically

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18 Oct 2019 No comment 12 hits

Panaji: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the state government for its failure to close mining scientifically and asked it to deposit the amount within 15 days with the central pollution control board.

The NGT has also struck down a proposal of the mines department to fill the mining pits with solid waste in consultation with a Norwegian firm, calling it preposterous and insensitive.

While rejecting the proposal, NGT said it is like giving licence for commission of offence besides being in violation of the Solid Waste Rules.

The NGT had asked the mines department how it intends to close mining pits scientifically.

The three-member bench comprising of judicial members S P Wangdi, K Ramakrishnan and expert member Dr Nagin Nanda gave a month’s time to the government to submit a report explaining measures taken for mitigation of the serious environmental issues involved in the case including framing of appropriate policy/guidelines and manual of standard operating procedure.

The Tribunal has taken serious cognisance of the complaint exposing gross negligence of the mines department in not filling up the abandoned mining pits and quarries, which eventually led to the death of students.

The NGT expressed disappointment with the report submitted by the director of mines and geology that has no mention of the steps taken to scientifically close the mines or of the coercive measure taken against illegal mining and clearly demonstrates the insensitivity on the part of the state in dealing with such a serious question where lives have reportedly been lost.

“Apart from giving the details of peripheral actions taken, a preposterous suggestion has been made for filling up the mined out pits with solid waste in consultation with a Norwegian company. We, therefore, have no hesitation in rejecting the report as unacceptable. If the proposal is to be accepted, it would amount to giving licence for commission of a criminal offence apart from it being in violation of the Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016,” the NGT observed.

Considering the seriousness of the matter, the NGT directed the chief secretary to coordinate the matter with the department of mines and geology and the Goa State Pollution Control Board to ensure that effective measures are taken for mitigation of the serious environmental issues involved in the case.

The NGT has ordered the government to submit the report within a period of one month failing which a further penalty of Rs 5 lakh shall be imposed. The matter was posted for next hearing on November 26.

Source: NGT slaps penalty on state govt over failure to close mining pits scientifically

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