Ensure Safety of Lives & properties of people living around mining areas: Govt tells ex Leaseholders

*Directs them to display their existing mechanism & manpower for pumping out excess water from pits during monsoon

Goemkarponn Desk

PANJIM: With southwest monsoon onset likely over Goa in the first week of June, the State government has directed the erstwhile mining lease holders to display their existing mechanism along with the manpower at the site for pumping out excess water from the pits to ensure necessary precautions during the rains for the safety of lives and properties of the people residing around the leasebound areas.

The directions issued under the Disaster Management Act 2005, comes weeks after the former leaseholders were directed to vacate the mining sites by removal of all the machineries and equipments within a month that is by June 6.

“…hereby direct the lease owners of all the mining areas in North Goa District to deploy their existing mechanism along with manpower & equipment, and to ensure all necessary safety and precautionary measures in and around the mining leasehold areas so that life and property of the people residing in the proximity of leasehold areas is protected,” the order issued by the North Goa District Collector IAS Mamu Hage reads.

The Collector pointed out that during the site visit held on 21.05.2022, it was noticed certain measures which ought to have been taken by the erstwhile leaseholders have not been taken giving a reasonable apprehension regarding the safety of the life and property.

“It has also been noted during the site visit that the erstwhile lease owners have started removing the pumps, pipes and other equipment which are essential for pumping out of water from the mining pits and stabilization of those pits. If the work of de-watering/pumping out of excess water accumulated in the mining pits is not undertaken, it may cause loss of life and livelihood and lead to eventualities like flooding and collapse of mining pits,” the Collector said.

During the monsoon period, the leaseholders will have to undertake periodic Monitoring of water levels in the pits, Pumping out of excess water, Maintenance of stability of benches, overflow channels and Covering of slopes by geo textiles / tarpaulin, as needed and Adequate deployment of machinery, equipments, experts, manpower.

“Any other measures incidental to the above which are required for mitigating any threat to life and property and to avert any disaster due to flooding/ collapse of mining pits till such time that the danger of flooding is no longer posed due to monsoon,” the Collector said.

The Superintending Engineer of public works department (PWD) and water resources department (WRD) are directed to monitor the implementation of the safety measures, when the de-watering/pumping out of excess water accumulated in the mining pits and other ancillary activities to prevent floods, collapse of mining pits and breaching of buffer zones is being undertaken, throughout the period of monsoon.

The Collector has informed that the order will be in place only for the monsoon period and that the erstwhile lease owners would be liable to remove the machinery deployed for such disaster management work within 10 days of revocation of this order.

“Any person contravening this order shall be liable for punishment under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” the collector warned.

The mining pits have been created for commercial excavation of mines by the lease holders over the past several years and thus lease holders have employed experts with intricate knowledge and experience of handling the safety measures in mining pits during monsoons and are experts as under Section 34 (i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.


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