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ENVIRONMENT & FORESTS

Union Environment & Forests Minister, Jayanti Natrajan suspends Environmental Clearances to all 93 Mines in Goa

Panaji, September 12, 2012

Environment Clearances of all the 93 mines in Goa have been suspended. This was announced by the Union Environment & Forests Minister, Smt. Jayanti Natrajan during a Press conference in Panaji this evening. Smt. Natarajan also said that the 50 mining dumps which do not have environmental clearances are illegal, and questioned the stand taken by the Goa Chief Minister,Shri Manohar Parrikar, in allowing the ore from these illegal dumps to be transported and exported. She said if the mining dumps are illegal, clearly the mined ore is also illegal, and should be confiscated by the Goa Government as it belongs to the people of Goa. Castigating the Goa Chief Minister, Shri Manohar Parrikar for his order to temporarily close down all mines, the Union Environment Minister said that it is a meaningless action meant to fool the people of Goa. She said that it was just an administrative order, and did not mention under which law it becomes operable. She further said that the UPA Govt is commited to transparency and accountability, and anyone found to be indulging in illegal action will be punished under the law of the land. A Special Committee would be set up by the MOEF look into the Environmental Clearances granted to these 93 mines, and only after the MOEF is satisfied, will the Environmental Clearances be given back to the mines.

Speaking about the obstruction of the working of the Parliament by the Opposition during the last Parliament Session, Smt. Natrajan said that there is no scam in the allotment of coal blocks by the UPA Government as made out by the Opposition. She said that the CAG has not talked about any loss, but only of a possible profit had the coal blocks been allotted to Coal India. She further said that CAG had not taken into consideration that the coal blocks were allotted for the purposes of capture power plants. She also said that CAG had not audited the allotment of coal blocks during the period 1988-2004 when the BJP was in power, and had allotted 32 coal blocks.



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