Revoke ECs to 42 mines: CEC

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The Supreme Court-appointed Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) on Friday recommended that...

PANAJI: The Supreme Court-appointed Centrally Empowered Committee (CEC) on Friday recommended that environmental clearances (ECs) granted by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests,

to the 19 mining leases located within wildlife sanctuaries be revoked by the Supreme Court. Stating that around 400 lakh MT could be illegally mined ore, the CEC also recommended the same for the other 23 leases within a distance of up to 1 km from the boundaries of nearby national parks or sanctuaries. Also, mining operations at such mining leases are to be prohibited and the panel has called for Environment Impact Assessment of leases before any mining operations could possibly be permitted.
In its hard-hitting report submitted to the Supreme Court on Friday that could see a long delay in resumption of mining in the state, the CEC termed the initial information sought for and furnished by the state as full of “inconsistencies and contradictions and that the information was totally inadequate and incomplete.”
The Mr PV Jayakrishnan-led CEC that visited mining leases between October 28 and October 31 wanted the MoEF to place environmental clearances of 120 mining leases located within 10 km (minus the above) of national parks or sanctuaries to be placed before the Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL).  On dumps, the CEC suggested that the state be directed not to permit the extraction of minerals from the overburdened dumps located outside the approved mining lease areas till an environmentally sustainable Scheme of Mining is prepared. The next hearing in SC will be in the second week of January 2013.