MoEF suspends environment clearance of 93 mining leases in Goa

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest today suspended the environment clearances (EC) of all the 93 mining leases in Goa asking the mine owners to submit the relevant documents.

The mine owners will have to submit their documents which are required for getting the environment clearances, Minister of Environment and Forest Jayanti Natarajan told mediapersons here today.

Justice M B Shah Commission, in its report on Goa's illegal mining, had also pointed out that the ECs were given based on the wrong facts.

Natarajan said the ECs were given on the wrong facts submitted by the state government, which were not properly verified by the MoEF officials.

The minister said that she will go into every aspect of the ECs granted and if any of the official is found guilty, action would be taken against him.

"We will see that he is punished according to the law," she added.

Referring to the statement of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar that FIR would be filed against the former Congress chief ministers -- Pratapsingh Rane and Digambar Kamat, Natarajan alleged that Parrikar was involved in "political witch hunting".

Natarajan also claimed that Justice Shah Commission during their inquiry had not heard MoEF.

"Although Shah commission has referred to MoEF in its report, we were never heard. Therefore it was not possible for us to present our fact before the commission," she added.

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