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Goa tightens iron ore mining rules

Mines and Geology Department Goa has issued orders to the mining firms in the state to provide details of their daily operations, thereby making it easy for the government to keep a tab on the exports.

The newly appointed director of the Mines and Geology Department, Mr Prasanna Acharya asked the mining lease holders to submit daily reports regarding transportation of iron ore from the mining sites.

As per the order, the mines will now have to provide details like the number of trucks ferrying the iron ore on a daily basis, information about ships and their carriage capacity, among other things.

The department also directed the mining firms to submit information about royalty challan payments, so that the records available at the ports could be tallied. Mr Acharya said that steps are being taken to streamline matters concerning mining, transportation and storage of ore.

In a different order, the department has asked the mining firms to keep only one exit for all trucks ferrying ore from the extraction sites to the riverfront jetties, so that transportation can also be monitored easily.

According to the order, the mining lease holders will also have to submit all the documents pertaining to leases. Mining leases, signed during the Portuguese regime are written in Portuguese; Mr Acharya has asked the firms to get them translated into english before submitting them to the state government.

The Manohar Parrikar government has put a regulatory mechanism on the mining leases, which had become a hub for illegal trade over the years.

The state government says that it has decided that the ore leaving the lease area should be accounted for and not a single gram of ore would be allowed to be extracted illegally.

The companies have also been instructed submit their survey number and their Global Positioning Survey coordinates, to ensure they have not gone beyond their designated geographical limits.

The order, which was issued on Monday, has set a deadline of 15 days, for the lease holders, to submit these documents to the state government.

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