The Supreme Court Tuesday sought to know from the Goa government if it ever monitored its iron ore mining and if it was satisfied with the royalty paid by the miners.
A green bench led by Justice A K Patnaik asked the central government to explain the manner in which environmental clearances had been granted to mining firms. Have you considered the cumulative effect (of granting such certificates) on the environment? the bench asked. The court said it would hear out from solicitor general Mohan Parasaran,on behalf of environment and forests ministry,on the issue before hearing Goa.
The bench had in October last year shut all 90 mines in Goa after the Justice M B Shah Commission indicted nearly all the miners for illegally extracting Rs 35,000 crore worth of of iron ore over the previous 12 years. The final hearing started Tuesday with top mining companies in Goa pleading with the court to lift the ban since they had not violated any mining or other environmental laws.
The petitioner Goa Foundations counsel Prashant Bhushan argued against resumption of mining until all irregularities were fixed. He also asked the court to cap extraction of iron ore in Goa.