New Delhi: The Goa government today sought the Supreme Court's permission to transport and export 11 million tonnes of already excavated iron ores, lying unused following the ban on mining in the state.
The mined iron ore is "lying idle" and its transportation and export, if permitted, will be under the new rules that entail its electronic monitoring from mines to the ships, the counsel for the state government told a three-judge forest bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik.
The ban on mining, transportation and the export of iron ore has had a "cascading" effect on Goa's economy, he said. The state government said it has sent to the Ministry of Environment and Forests the draft report on policy for ecologically-sensitive zones.
The forest bench had on October 5 last year halted mining operations in all the 90 mines in Goa considering the Justice M B Shah Commission report that had indicted almost all miners saying illegal extraction of iron ore during the past 12 years had caused a loss of Rs 35,000 crore to the state exchequer. Earlier, mining in Goa was first suspended in September 2012 after the Centre-appointed Shah panel's report on illegal mining in the state was tabled in Parliament, following which the state government issued a temporary suspension order.
During the hearing, the apex court had said that there should be a proper system in place to regulate mining and other related activities in Goa.
NGO Goa Foundation had filed the PIL on the alleged illegal iron ore extraction in the state.
The court had recently started hearing the PIL after Sesa Goa, a Vedanta Group firm, sought an early decision on the issue.