The mining lobby in Goa is working overtime to topple last week’s order of the environment ministry closing down 12 mines owing to their proximity to wildlife reserves. The powerful lobby is making a backside entry through the new mineral policy. The policy allows mining near the state's wildlife sanctuaries.
This is what the policy says "Mining leases/prospecting licences within close proximity from already declared wildlife sanctuaries would be considered provided they adhere to additional safeguards and guidelines whilst operating so as to reduce any adverse effect on the environment,” A clear-cut somersault. Strangely the policy also speaks of maintaining the ecological balance in the state.
Necessary loopholes have been very cleverly inserted for the benefit of the wheeler dealers. Goan environmentalists have a hard time ahead.