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NGT issues bailable warrant against Goa chief secretary

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued a bailable warrant against the Goa Chief Secretary for not adhering to its order earlier this month and not presenting any reason thereof.

Hearing the case filed by Goa Paryavaran Savrakshan Sangharsh Samitee, a Goa based non-governmental organization (NGO), against 25 mining companies, the tribunal ordered, “As nobody is present on behalf of State of Goa, despite service, in exercise of our powers and in terms of provisions in the National Green Tribunal Act, we issue bailable warrant against the Chief Secretary, State of Goa, in the sum of Rs 20,000 to the satisfaction of the arresting officer, for securing his presence before us.”

In fact, despite NGT service, none represented the NGT to say anything in the matter as to why the state government has failed to grant permission to one of the respondent H L Nathurmal (HLN) despite the tribunal order in the company’s favour on September 3.

“Last time, we expressed hope that the state of Goa would be taking due note of the directions passed by us, particularly the directed dated August 19 and accordingly respond to the affidavit filed by HLN regarding his plans to restore the existing mined area and commercially exploit the overburden generated in the mine. Undoubtedly, the application filed by HLN for closure proceedings got dismissed on September 3. However, the issue of restoration of the mine area continues to exist,” the order said.

HLN had in a submission intended that the company adheres to all conditions stipulated for granting consent to operate. Also, the company said that mined overburden has commercially utilizable components, such as calcium bentonite, magniferous clay, dolomite and red-oxide and it has will and means to employ technology to segregate such components from this overburden and dispose of the same beneficially both to the economy as well as environment to make mining viable.

But, the state of Goa has shown a cold response. Even there seems no will on the part the State to do even the least favour of responding to the cause of restoration.

The tribunal made bailable warrant returnable on September 26, the scheduled date for next hearing.

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