Panaji, May 31 :
Union Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar Saturday said his ministry would work towards speedy resumption of mining in Goa.
Javadekar, who was speaking on the sidelines of a public event near Panaji, also said the central ministry would take a call on the Kasturirangan report on the Western Ghats at a June 4 meeting in New Delhi.
“My ministry will work towards ensuring that legal mining is resumed in Goa as soon as possible,” Javadekar said.
Although the Supreme Court has lifted the nearly two-year-old mining ban in Goa, mining is unlikely to start in the immediate future. While the state government has to draft a mining policy and grant leases afresh, the MoEF will also play a major role is issuing green clearances for site-specific mining operations to resume.
Javadekar said his ministry would decide on the Kasturirangan committee report at the meeting where representatives of the affected states would be participating.
The Goa government has already expressed its opposition to the High Level Working Group (HLWG) report authored by the former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K. Kasturirangan, claiming its data was not authentic and did not reflect ground realities in the Western Ghats range located within Goa’s borders.
Kasturirangan was roped in by the MoEF to head a 10-member HLWG to advise the central government on the recommendations made by the Madhav Gadgil-led experts panel on how to conserve the Western Ghats.
The Western Ghats is a UNESCO recognised natural heritage site comprising a contiguous forested mountain range, which stretches from Kerala to southern Gujarat.
The report has faced opposition in several states in the Western Ghats belt, including Kerala and Goa.