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Protect ecology while mining for sand: Dept

Panaji: With a view to protecting the state’s riverine and in-stream systems, the directorate of mines and geology (DMG) has directed sand extractors not to disturb turbidity, velocity and flow-pattern of rivers or estuaries during extracting. Any violation could result in cancellation of permits, the directorate said. “The permit holder shall not interfere or cause any damage to bunds, river banks, agriculture fields, eco-sensitive zones, fish, migratory birds and breeding grounds,” the directive, aimed at mitigating likely ecological impact caused by sand extraction, stated.
The department has also sought permit-holders help in fighting illegal extraction, storage and transportation of sand.With regards to sand extraction and storage, permit holders have been informed that extraction within estuarine regions will be limited with no sand removal being allowed within buffer zones.Stating that sand will have to be stacked close to the river banks to facilitate verification of the quantity of extracted and enable collection of due amount of royalty, the directorate said, “Transportation and traded cannot be carried out without payment of royalty.” [TOI]

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