Leaseholders to submit papers on lease, fencing of lease areas, daily reports on transportation

In a bid to regulate iron ore extraction and transportation by the private sector in Goa, the Directorate of Mines and Geology on Monday issued two orders, directing all leaseholders to submit daily reports on transportation and askingd them to submit documents concerning the lease and fencing of the lease areas.

The orders were issued in line with the no-nonsense approach adopted by new Director of Mines and Geology Prasanna Acharya. He took over after the suspension Arvind Loliyekar owing to alleged irregularities and his failure to tackle illegal and irregular mining.

The Director said on Monday that the mining companies and leaseholders were told that the department was in the process of streamlining all activities. As a temporary measure, it was decided to obtain daily reports on ore transportation.

Miners were directed to submit in advance the details of vehicles and ore to be transported on the succeeding day. In case, the transportation plan was changed on the day of transport, the details should be sent to the e-mail address of the department.

The details to be reported to the department would include the registration number of vehicles/barges, their date of registration, their make and carrying capacity, the quantity of ore loaded, the grade of the ore, the royalty challan number, the date of payment of royalty of the ore proposed to be transported and destination of the ore. The department has also told the miners that reports should be sent for each transportation challan separately.

The State has nearly 20,000 ore transporting trucks. The ore transport by road has been one area that has invited the ire of people for fatal accidents, excessive illegal transport of ore and dust pollution.

Many of the mine owners are accused of usurping the area from around their lease area, including huge forest land, by use of corrupt methods. They have been asked to submit full set of documents pertaining to their mining lease, including duly authenticated copy of Title of Concession, along with the copy of translation in English. This is because most of the lease-related documents are in Portuguese or any vernacular languages. Other documents would include plan of transport challan (TC) number, survey plan of the lease area with details such as the survey number. GPS coordinates and demarcation plan of the lease area under the Land Revenue Code.

The department has directed that all the documents mentioned above, along with other relevant documents, including clearances, No Objection Certificates and consents issued by various authorities, should invariably be submitted within 15 days from April 16. Ostensibly to deal strictly with the complaints of use of areas beyond demarcated mining areas, the department has directed them to fence the lease area with boundary stones/pillars that could be identified distinctly with TC number and keep only one opening with a gate so that the entry to the lease area could be properly regulated.

Policy measures

In an informal chat with reporters at his office, Mr. Acharya said, “We are not dealing with individuals, but putting policy framework and checks and balances mechanism in place.”

With the department's last date for submission of documents to the ore traders having expired on Monday, it was stated to have received documents from 100 to 150 traders out of a whopping 461 registered traders but who continued to indulge in illegal and irregular trade and export activity in ore.

The next area on the department's radar seems to be to getting the mechanism activated to do a random check of the Fe content of the ore declared by the extractors while paying royalty, sources in the department indicated.

The State exported nearly 43 million tonnes of iron ore last year, fetching close to Rs.17,000 crore in foreign exchange.

The Bharatiya Janata Party government, which came to power in the recent Assembly elections, has taken up cleansing of the mining activity as a priority, with Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar retaining the charge of the Department of Mines and Geology. His predecessor Digambar Kamat presided over it for nearly a decade.

  • Goa has about 20,000 iron ore transportation trucks

  • So far 100 to 150 out of 461 traders have submitted documents