ISM looks at answers to Goa mining woes

A group of research scholars and professors from Indian School of Mines (ISM) has spotted adverse impacts on the environment in Goa due to mining, which was recently banned in the coastal state.

The Union ministry of environment and forests had awarded the study, which was begun a year before the Supreme Court ordered a ban on September 15, to the team of two professors and eight research scholars of the Dhanbad institute.

Professor Gurdeep Singh, who is leading the team in the Rs 2.02-crore project, told The Telegraph: "Our study will help to create a baseline to help sustainable industrialisation or mining in the region."

He added they had identified major spots hit by water and air pollution such as the picturesque Salaulim Dam, whose water is also used for drinking.

"We observed that the level of manganese is 5 milligram per litre in the dam water, which is much more that than the permissible limit of 01 mg/litre. This can create itchiness in the eyes and other problems."

He pointed out that the mining areas are mostly located far from tourist spots in Goa, which attracts around 14 lakh visitors annually. "But in some cases, the buffer zones between mining and tourist areas are not expansive enough."

Besides, much pollution is also caused by long-distance transportation of iron ore to the Mandovi and Zuari rivers and their 14 tributaries as the routes cross villages. "We have also suggested the creation of a transport corridor in our report that we are still preparing," said Singh, adding water pollution was also caused due to transportation of the ore from rivers to the coast for export to countries such as China, Mongolia and Indonesia.

Asked, Singh said the study focused on coastal Goa might not have direct relevance for landlocked Jharkhand, but argued that the precautionary measures the team was working on for sustainable mining could apply to the iron ore-rich Singhbhum region.

Altogether 83 iron ore mines were operational in Goa before the apex court imposed the ban at the back of protests by local residents over pollution.

Singh said, "We began our study in September 2011, a year before mining was banned in Goa. Thus, we had collected necessary data with regard to the impact of iron ore mining on the environment over a year. The project report, titled Regional Environmental Impact Assessment and Management, will be ready by mid-2013, as the duration of the study is 18 months."

The study takes into account the air, water and land use pattern in Goa, spread over 3,702sqkm with a population of around 14 lakh, a significant part of which falls under forestland and eco-sensitive areas including six sanctuaries.

"We had to face certain difficulties also during our study initially, as the local people, around 4 lakh of who are dependent on mining, didn't co-operate with us," said Singh, adding that the residents later were convinced that the study was for their betterment.

"Unlike individual studies on one aspect of environment, ours is a holistic scrutiny of the impact of mining on environment, including air, water and soil pollution," he added.

Interestingly, the residents also sympathise with the mine owners as a lot of socio-economic development is carried out in Goa by the companies including growth of popular football academies as well as hospitals.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have been able to purchase batting replacements for the loss of Michael Hussey and spin reinforcements in the form of Samuel Badree. They appear… More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »