The Goa Rivers Sand Protectors Network has filed an appeal before the NGT challenging the environment clearances granted by the Goa State Environment Impact Assessment Agency (GSEIAA) — all dated 12.10.2021 — to the District Collector, North Goa, to carry out sand mining in four zones of the Chapora river in North Goa.
The appeal challenges the fact that the environment clearances granted are in violation of the procedures and approvals governing sand mining under the EIA Notification 2006. They have been granted without complying with mandatory requirements of the Sustainable Sand Mining Guidelines of 2016 and the Enforcement and Monitoring Guidelines of sand mining, 2020. These guidelines collectively prescribe comprehensive procedures for notifying sand mining zones and granting permits which are required to be complied with.
Contrary to the regulations under EPA 2006, the environment clearances have been granted to the Collector and not to those who will eventually extract the sand.
The appeal argues that without a District Survey Report (DSR), no environment clearance can be even considered. The decision of the GSEIAA has been taken on the basis of a report submitted by the NIO to the Goa State Biodiversity Board, which is irregular. Two zones granted environment clearance are in fact almost adjacent to the turtle nesting site at Morjim.
In view of the above, the appellant has asked the NGT to cancel all the four environmental clearances.