Govt plans to reject mining lease applications: Survey

 

The Directorate of Mines and Geology is working on a proposal not to allow applications for mining leases, prospecting licences or reconnaissance permits in areas covered under previous concessions granted by Portuguese Government or leases under Mines and Minerals Development Regulation Act, the Economic Survey 2012-13 states. 
“Proposal shall also cover rejection of applications made for mining leases, prospecting licences or reconnaissance permits by persons who were involved in illegal mining,” the report, presented in the State legislative assembly, reads. 
The Economic Survey said that the proposal would be shortly forwarded to State government. State government has 1,144 applications of mining leases pending with them. As per the quarterly report, Goa has 765 fresh pending applications which include 12 Reconnaissance Permits, 660 prospecting licences and 93 mining leases.  The State also has 379 pending renewal applications as on December 2011.
The survey has stated that based on Justice M B Shah Commission report, the mining companies were issued show cause notices for encroachments but after going through the replies, prima facie, there seems to be gross mistakes as the encroachments are identified through Google imagery. 
The Economic Survey further states that ‘fact will be clear once the digital global positioning system (DGPS) survey is conducted’.  “The conclusion of loss of Rs 35,000 crore to government is assessed in Shah Commission report as per such (DGPS) images, which were never furnished by the department,” the report stated. 
The survey said that if needed the matter shall be referred to Justice Khandeparkar Committee, constituted to look into aspects highlighted by Shah Commission report and suggest remedial and other measures to the government. 
The survey argues that government has initiated several actions in cases pertaining to illegal traders, condonation of delay and against illegal extraction of ore beyond lease area and without mining lease. [H]