Mining Policy allows handling of dumps outside lease area

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Even as the Union Mines Ministry is in the process of framing dump policy for the iron ore producing States across the Country, the Goa Mining (Major Mineral) Policy 2013, has decided to allow dump handling outside the mining lease area provided the land can be converted to agricultural use and removal of dumps are in the interest of the environment. 
In addition, the leaseholder shall obtain clearances from the Goa State Environmental Impact Assessment Authority, consent under Air and Water Act from Goa State Pollution Control Board and permission from Office of Department of Mines and Geology. 
The government decision is likely to ignite a clash between the State and Centre given that the Centre has given directions on dump handling that are contrary to the State policy. While MoEF and Ministry of Mines opine that dump handling requires environment clearance, the State holds a contrary view. 
The policy, with major focus on handling of dumps, which were banned from being exported since 2011, has stated that the dump exports shall be capped at 25 MMT per season. Government proposal of allowing dump handling outside the lease area, does not find a place in the draft policy. 
“Dump handling would be permitted only in cases where the removal shall be in the interest of the environment or if the land can be put to some agriculture or allied activities, or if removal of such dumps shall avoid risk of polluting the water resources and the alike,” the policy stated. 
The policy mentions that management of dumps has become a risk for mining companies and regulators. It lists three mining mishaps of 2011, resulting from excessive dump piling causing landslides. According to the declarations provided by the concessionaires/ lessees, the total stock of dumps in Goa exceeds 700 MMT. 
Government has said that permissions from MoEF would be taken before handling dumps on the forest land. . The policy states that government has amended Land Revenue Code and necessary arrangements for land conversion charges, fines and other sums payable as applicable have been made applicable for dumps lying on private and government land.  [H]

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