PANAJI: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that until NIO submits report, sand extraction cannot operate legally.
“The matter is in high court, NIO has to submit the report. Until now only report on Chapora river has been submitted. Until NIO report comes, they cannot operate legally,” said Sawant.
He further said that sand extraction issue is handled by the mines department and that government will not issue any licenses till the times NIO submits its report in the matter.
“At present, Goan vehicles have been going outside the state and getting sand and there is some issue amongst them. I have told the police to resolve it,” he added.
Sawant said that he said that the NIO has given a report only about the Chapora river and that reports are yet to come regarding other locations.
“The government will not be able to take any decision without it,” he added.
The Chief Minister said that NIO is responsible for preparation of study report for sand removal in Zuari as well as other rivers.
“These reports are to be submitted to the government. As the matter is before the High Court, if the licenses are issued before the report, they will have no legal significance,” CM said.
On Wednesday, the High Court of Bombay at Goa deemed that neither the Director General of Police (DGP) nor the Chief Secretary were “seriously interested” in preventing illegal sand mining in the state.
While hearing a contempt petition filed by the Goa River Sand Protectors Network, the court said, “This is not a question of simply disobeying orders made by this court from time to time, but of protecting Goa’s natural resources…
It further said considering the material placed before us, we get the impression that neither the DGP nor the Chief Secretary are seriously interested in preventing.