Monday , 25 June 2018

Draft plan hammered out to end pollution in mining areas

PANAJI: Even as the issue of air pollution in Sonshi mining hub   continues to remain unsettled, the Goa State Pollution Control Board on Monday framed a draft plan to bring about permanent solution to air pollution in mining areas.

Representatives of mining companies were present during a special meeting which hammered out the draft plan with experts from the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad giving their inputs to the document.

Sources in the mining industry said the draft plan would focus on air monitoring stations and on future practices to be adopted to combat pollution in mining areas.

It suggested locations of air monitoring stations and pollution controlling measures such as wheel-washing systems, road sweeping machines, audit protocol in mining areas, etc.

The suggested measures are under discussion but are expected to be locked once the plan is finalised.

Sources in the mining industry said the plan would be fine-tuned before it is approved by the GSPCB.

The special meeting, which was chaired by GSPCB member secretary Levinson Martin at the board office, was attended by board engineers and representatives of mining companies, such as Vedanta, Fomento, V M Salgaoncar, Chowgule, etc.

Dr Biswajit Paul, an associate professor of ISM-Dhanbad, also attended   the meeting that began at 9 am and ended at 4 pm.

The meeting had been called to come up with a permanent solution to tackle pollution caused by mining operations.

The draft plan will be fine-tuned and adopted at another meeting to be held on Wednesday. The Wednesday meeting will be attended by GSPCB officials, representatives of mining companies and ISM experts.

The draft plan has suggested short, medium and long-term measures, and mining companies are hopeful that adherence to the steps will fetch them GSPCB’s consent to operate.

Pollution in mining areas has been a matter of concern, especially at Sonshi where high levels of air pollution have been detected by the pollution board.

Hence consent to operate of 12 mining companies operating in the area have been withheld. The draft plan has suggested a number of monitoring stations along iron ore transportation routes.

It has to be accepted by the industry once it is finalised by the pollution board.

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