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Inspect mining pits, quarries, mamlatdars told

Panaji/Mapusa : Taking cognisance of the tragic incident wherein four students drowned in a water-filled laterite quarry in Tuem recently, North District Collector R Menaka on Monday ordered the mamlatdars of mining talukas across the district to conduct a safety inspection of all the closed mines and quarries that are exposed to trespass.

The mamlatdars have been asked to submit a report within seven days.

The Collector has asked the mamlatdars to check whether barriers or fencing have been placed and properly maintained at the mining pits and quarries. They have been asked to also check for appropriate warning signs near the mining pits and quarries so as to discourage any trespass around the boundaries of the quarries or mines.

Based on the report submitted by the mamlatdars, the Collector will fix responsibility on the concerned authority and accordingly take action as per the rule book.

The inspection report will highlight the number of open pits or quarries that are exposed to danger and have no fencing or proper warning signs, which is necessary to restrict access to such places.

Sources in the Collector’s office said that it is the responsibility of the mines department and Indian mines bureau to take appropriate precautions wherever there is a risk of people falling into water and getting drowned.

There is a risk of people getting drowned in most of the water-filled quarries. It may be noted that majority of drowning cases at quarries have involved intentional or inadvertent trespass by members of the public.

Meanwhile, following direction of the North Goa Collector, Pernem mamlatdar Anant Malik has directed all the talathis in the taluka to survey and identify all mining pits in the taluka and submit a report to him.

When contacted, Malik said, “Following direction from the Collector, I have asked all my talathis to survey and identify all the mining pits and submit a report.”

Meanwhile, body of the fourth boarding student who drowned in the laterite stone quarry in Tuem, was handed over to his family members on Monday after postmortem was conducted at the Goa Medical College. Pernem police has also commenced recording of statements of witness and others in the matter.

It may be noted that on Saturday evening, a group of 43 students from a Tuem-based boarding school, along with three staff members, had been for trekking. After reaching near an abandoned water-filled stone quarry, six students ventured into the water to wash their feet. Police said that the students slipped and fell into the water and started drowning. The staff members present there succeeded in rescuing two students, said the police.

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