19 mines within 500 metres of Goa's Selaulim reservoir: Kamat

Selaulim dam and reservoir supplies water to whole of South Goa and parts of North Goa

PTI | March 22, 2011



Goa government on Tuesday admitted that 19 mine sites are located within 500 metres of Selaulim water reservoir, which provides drinking water to almost 80 per cent of the state's population.

As per the reply tabled on the floor of the house by chief minister Digambar Kamat, of the 19 mining sites, 17 are within 200 metres of the reservoir.

The question was raised by BJP legislator Vasudeo Meng Gaonkar, representing Sanguem constituency, where the dam is located, during the ongoing budget session.

Selaulim dam and reservoir is the state's biggest dam on Zuari river and supplies water to whole of South Goa and parts of North Goa.

It has a water storing capacity of 234.36 million cubic metres.

Kamat has conceded that nine of the mines, that extract iron ore and manganese, from these sites do not have environmental clearance.

Goa legislative assembly's ad hoc committee on forests, had in the past suggested that water quality in the Selaulim dam be monitored as mining rejects from nearby dumps flow into it.

"The government should have an appropriate mechanism to undertake regular inspections and monitor the activities of the mining companies to prevent the flow of mining rejects in river bodies, especially in the vicinity of Selaulim dam at Sanguem," the panel headed by BJP legislator Laxmikant Parsekar had stated.

In yet another reply on Tuesday, Kamat admitted that no study has been conducted to verify the impact of mining on the quality of water and also its impact on aquifer.

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