Are BJP MLAs, Govt colluding with Sesa to transport ore illegally?

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 03 February 2016 21:23 IST

Goa’s truck owners have alleged that Sesa Goa has been illegally transporting the fresh iron ore in collusion with the government authorities and BJP legislators.

According to Nilkanth Gawas, president of the All Goa Truck Association, Sesa Goa has been transporting fresh ore along with the e-auctioned ore, in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.

He has also held BJP MLAs like Pramod Sawant, Subhash Phaldesai and Ganesh Gaonkar responsible for allowing illegalities of Sesa Goa while general public is harassed with road blockades and night transportation of iron ore.

“In spite of high court orders, Sesa Goa is transporting ore beyond 6 pm, sometimes till 9 pm, which we fear may cause accidents and deaths once again”, said Gawas today, addressing a press conference in Ponda.

While Association is trying to stop the trucks transporting ore beyond 6 pm, he alleged that the police are acting as silent spectators.

Sesa Goa is presently transporting e-auctioned ore from its Codli mine to the Amona jetty in North Goa covering around 33 kms and to Kapxem jetty which is 13 kms away in South Goa.

There are 1100 trucks engaged in North Goa while 400 in South Goa, informs Gawas.

“Almost 500 trucks are filled at night and let to go on roads together at 8 am, which is presently playing havoc especially on the Navelim-Surla stretch”, he says.

 

In addition, points out Gawas, the state government has allowed fresh mining without implementing the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court.

It includes, he says, a new road called mining corridor, appointing mines officer at each mining lease, pollution checking centres every 5 kms and traffic police managing the mining traffic.

Instead of learning from the previous experience of illegal mining which led to the total mining ban for almost three years, Gawas says the mining lease holders are continuing with the illegalities while government authorities are turning blind eye towards it.

On the contrary, he alleges, the ruling BJP MLAs from the mining belt are supplying trucks to Sesa Goa to transport the fresh ore illegally.

The AGTA has thus warned that they would not allow transportation of fresh ore, after the e-auctioned ore gets over, without fixing the transportation rates in consultation with all the lease holders, not just one Sesa Goa.

He has also threatened to ‘teach a lesson’ to Sesa Goa if the company doesn’t fulfil its promise to withdraw cases filed against the truck owners during last agitation, by 5 February. 

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The mining companies in Goa are seasoned illegal-actors and will do illegalities without any fear from Court or Government. They know Court will not take any action suo-motto unless someone files a writ for Contempt of Court and then this route is so windy and cumbersome that any action from Court can be avoided by help of advocates who will find many ways to prolong the case indefinitely. As for the Government, it is their ally, may be of any party BJP, Congress or Goa Progressive or any other.

Further, if they have been given leases and Environment Clearances illegally, without caring a hoot for the Supreme Court orders, it may be said that they are allowed to do illegalities legally.

As for the public suffering, who cares? They will shout and shout, but the Government is least bothered, after all they are all anti-progress volunteers of NGOs, isn't it?

It is also heard that weighed trucks after leaving mine-premises, are again filled with more ore [which is unloaded before weigh-bridge at barge-loading point], and night transport is very good for this purpose.

In accordance with mining policy trucks are to display on their wind-screen the details of ore carried by them, but this is seldom done and I have never found a truck carrying this display, but authorities are least bothered and I am no authority so why they should care?

- Shankar Jog, SANCORDEM, GOA | 04 th February 2016 18:46

 

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