activities in the state have been at a standstill since 2012 after the Union
Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) announcedsuspension of environmental clearances of all 139 mining leases
in the state. The latest decision of the Supreme Court comes as a big
respite to mining players such as Sesa Sterlite, earlier known as Sesa Goa, the
main subsidiary of multinational mining and metals giant, Vedanta. When
contacted, the company refused to comment on the developments expected
following the judgement.
of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) has welcomed the decision. Basant Poddar,
vice-president of FIMI, emphasised that the decision of lifting mining ban will
not only help the mining industry but also the people whose livelihoods have
been hit by MoEF's suspension order.
regarding illegal mining activities in Goa and its ecological impact have been
long-standing.The report of Justice M B Shah Commission, which was tabled
in Parliament on September 7, 2012,highlighted
illegal mining activities in Goa. The commission was appointed on November
22, 2010, to inquire into the illegal mining in Goa and six other states. Just
days after the Shah Commission report was submitted in Parliament, MoEF ordered
temporary suspension of mining activities in the state. The Supreme Court in
October 2012, ordered that the mine leases where violations were detected by
the Shah Commission should be suspended and asked its central empowered
committee (CEC) to investigate the illegalities.