Goa CM advises ecologist to stop complaining to media over green study

Panaji : Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Saturday advised Padma Bhushan awardee ecologist Madhav Gadgil to stop complaining to the media that the Goa government was suppressing a report he mentored that exposed rigging in green clearances for the state’s mining operations.

Parrikar was responding to charges made by Gadgil Thursday, about the government’s alleged attempts to suppress a study he had mentored, which exposed how environment impact assessment (EIA) reports filed by mining companies with the help of private consultants were rigged and did not reflect ground realities. An EIA study is essential for mining companies to get green clearances for commencement of mining.

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“I don’t know. He should have given it to me directly. Why is he blabbering? He just speaks to the press. Ask him to send me another copy. I have not received it. A lot of things come to the department,” Parrikar said.

Speaking at an event in Panaji Thursday, Gadgil had charged the Goa government with suppressing his report on assessing quality of environmental impact assessment (EIA) submitted in the past by mining companies

“What Goa government has done with the report is, suppressed it, just like the Union Ministry who suppressed our report on Western Ghats,” said Gadgil, who had mentored the study which was conducted by the Centre for Environment Education. According to the study a majority of the EIA reports on Goa’s 100 odd operational mines were bogus.

“The department may have sent it to me, I am not saying no. Though I cannot say when it was sent. I get so many files… Are you aware that I deal with at least 150 files a day. Do you expect me to read everything and remember everything. If he wants something to be done, let him email it to me,” Parrikar said.

The Goa government is in the process of re-starting mining operations in Goa, even as the Supreme Court is hearing a case filed by a Goan NGO and noted public interest lawyer Prashant Bhushan vis a vis a Rs. 35,000 crore illegal mining scam in the state.