The Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) today directed the mine lease holders operating in North Goa's Sonshi village to furnish bank guarantee, which will be forfeited if they cause air and water pollution.
The GSPCB today held a meeting under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma to decide on whether to grant consent to operate 39 mining leases, including 12 in Sonshi village.
Several residents of Sonshi had protested last month stating that there was a rise in air pollution, after which the mining operation in this area had been suspended.
"The board today refused to allow the mining operations at Sonshi till further orders. The mining firms have been asked to furnish bank guarantee, which will be forfeited if they cause pollution," GSPCB member secretary Lavinson Martins told reporters.
The mining operations in Sonshi has been shut since April 28 after the lease holders were found to be involved in violation of pollution norms.
He said the guarantee amount will be based on the area of the lease. "It is most likely to be Rs 50 lakh for mining leases that have area above 100 hectares; Rs 25 lakh for mining lease with area between 50 and 100 hectares and Rs 12.5 lakh for mining lease area below 50 hectares," he said.
"If lease holder fails to control the air and water pollution in the vicinity, the bank guarantee will be seized by the Board," he said.