Panaji, Oct 1: The Goa government has initiated the process to revoke licences of 19 mining leases which have been found to be operating within ten-kilometre radius of wildlife sanctuaries or national parks in the state.
State Forest Minister Filipe Nery Rodrigues today told PTI that they have received a communication from the Karnataka Forest department, quoting data provided by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) which claims that these mines are working in violation of the Environment Clearances (ECs) granted to them.
Rodrigues said there are few leases which have been found to have given false information to MOEF while applying for EC.
Goa has 90-odd operational mines which tap around 54 million metric tones of Iron ore annually, exported to various nations.
The Goa Assembly-constituted Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which is investigating into the illegal mining activity, had pointed out that almost 50 per cent of the ECs granted by the MOEF have major violations.
Rodrigues today said he has asked Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Shashi Kumar to act upon the letter submitted by his Karnataka counterpart. However, Kumar was not available for comment.
The list of mines in the letter include mining leases run by state''s top notch firms including Dempo Mining Corporation, who have sold their leases to Sesa Goa.
The mines which are operating within 10 km radius are owned by V M Salgaoncar Bros and Pandurang Timblo.
Also, there is a mine owned by NCP leader Prafula Hede, next to the national park, which may also face suspension.