HC stops transport of ore via Mayem; cites pollution

The Goan | Updated on: Thursday, May 05, 2022, 11:25 AM IST

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The Bombay High Court at Goa has ordered a halt in transportation of ore via Mayem village for not being in tune with the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) guidelines more particularly in the absence of any monitoring mechanism to ensure that the ambient air quality is being monitored in a real time basis.

Hearing a petition filed by the Mulakh Khazan Farmers Association, Mayem which approached the HC alleging that “unrestricted pollution had caused severe distress to the villagers,” the High Court ordered a halt to the transportation until the GSPCB installs the mandatory air quality monitoring stations.

“The GSPCB has admitted before us that presently transportation that is taking place is without any monitoring… the GSPCB informed the Directorate of Mines and Geology that details about the transportation of ore were not intimated by the Department to the Board and, therefore, The Board was not able to install its Ambient Air Quality Monitoring stations along the concerned transportation routes in order to monitor the air quality in the respective areas,” the High Court observed.

Therefore, we grant ad-interim relief… pending hearing and final disposal of this petition, for an order restraining transporting any materials from the dump near T.C. Nos. 5/49 and 13/49; and pending hearing and final disposal of this petition restraining (the respondents) from transporting any further materials from the dump through the village roads of Mayem,” the High Court ruled.

“However, if and when the monitoring stations are put in place by the GSPCB, we grant respondents no. 6 to 16 to apply for modification of this interim order,” the High Court said.

Ad Norma Alvares who represented the farmers pointed out that (ore) transportation has to be monitored by the GSPCB but presently, there is no monitoring whatsoever taking place and therefore, such unchecked transportation needs to be stopped at the earliest.

In response, the GSPCB ‘candidly’ admitted that that there is no monitoring going on. “Unless GSPCB provides the routes and further arrangements are made to set up the monitoring stations, there are difficulties in monitoring. He states that now the GSPCB has identified one location and has also requested the private party to issue an NOC for setting up monitoring stations,” GSPCB told the Court.

Back in February 2020 the Board mandated continuous ambient air quality monitoring along the approved routes through the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change approved lab and monitoring charges be recovered from the transporters/mining firms as per actual. The Department of Mines was to provide the transportation route for enabling the Board to identify suitable monitoring locations.

(This news is reported by The Goan. To read more GOA news visit The Goan)

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Published on: Thursday, May 05, 2022, 11:21 AM IST