IMPACT OF INDISCRIMINATE MINING ON AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY OF GOA

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IMPACT OF INDISCRIMINATE MINING ON AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY OF GOA PROF. GURUPRASAD R. NAIK MES COLLEGE OF ARTS AND COMMERCE, ZUARINAGAR, GOA - INDIA International Conference on Agriculture and Forestry (ICOAF) - 2014, 10-11 June 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka http://agroconference.com/

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Hosted by: IMPACT OF INDISCRIMINATE MINING ON AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY OF GOA PROF. GURUPRASAD R. NAIK MES COLLEGE OF ARTS AND COMMERCE, ZUARINAGAR, GOA - INDIA

IMPACT OF INDISCRIMINATE MINING ON AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY OF GOA:

IMPACT OF INDISCRIMINATE MINING ON AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY OF GOA PROF. GURUPRASAD R. NAIK MES COLLEGE OF ARTS AND COMMERCE, ZUARINAGAR, GOA - INDIA

INTRODUCTION:

INTRODUCTION Goa is land rich in resources with diverse flora and fauna. Soils in Goa are of lateritic nature. Climate is pleasant and cool. Western Ghats run along eastern length of state and consist of abundant biodiversity, Goa has geographical area of 3072 sq. km. Total forest cover of Goa is 1424.46 sq. km.

Objectives:

Objectives The objectives of Research study are as follows:- To study the Impact of Mining on Forest Areas. To study the Impact of Mining on Agricultural Land.

Methodology:

Methodology This paper makes use of secondary data collected from various sources such as Economic Survey of government of Goa, Mining Report of Ministry of Mines, Government of India and Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel Report, several other websites such as Directorate of Geology and Mines, Government of Goa, website on Western Ghats, etc. are also accessed.

Mining in Goa:

Mining in Goa Mining has been playing an important role in the economy of Goa. It is foreign exchange earner for the state. Recently, it has been designated as the industry at par with tourism. Goa is major iron ore exporting state and over 60% of India’s iron ore export is from Goa. In terms of foreign exchange reserves it amounts to nearly Rs. 1000 crore per year. Mining in Goa is done by open-cast method which necessitates the removal of overburden overlying the iron ore formations.

Mining in Forest Areas:

Mining in Forest Areas India’s minerals lie in the regions populated by dense green forests and presence of abundant river systems. According to Forest Survey of India, the total forest cover of Goa has been decreasing. Around 1990’s that 1424.46 sq. km. In mid 1990’s the forest cover had decreased to 1251 sq. km. More than 40 mining leases operate in forest areas leading to the destruction of the forests. More than 40 mining leases operate in forest areas leading to the destruction of the forests.

Mining in Forest Areas…….:

Mining in Forest Areas……. The total estimated area of forests affected due to mining in Goa is around 20 sq. km. 91 mining leases fall in forest areas which shows the extent of mining activities in these thickly forested areas. According to Ministry of Mines (2008) in the period of 28 years from 1980 to 2008, around 1,453 hectares of forest land has been diverted for mining activities. The Economic survey of Goa mentioned that around 2,66,000 sq. km. of government land is being illegally encroached upon by mining companies.

Mining in Forest Areas…….:

Mining in Forest Areas……. According to a report by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) at least 18% of Goa’s forests have been lost to mining. The overburdens are not properly stored and managed hence hugely affecting the forest cover of Goa. The runoffs from the dumps, pit water discharge and the tailing pond overflow into the rivers. Run offs from dumps has affected about 320 Ha of agricultural land due to silting.

Impact of Mining on Agriculture:

Impact of Mining on Agriculture Reduction in crop growth from three crops in previous year to hardly one crop this year. Deposits of dust on the cashew plantations heavily affects their growth. Agricultural fields choking due to mining rejects inflow in the fields. Absence of fodder and water for animals has rendered Dairy Farming almost useless. Loss of vegetation in previously thriving agricultural lands hence struggling for their survival.

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa:

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa Deforestation. Mining in Goa has been practiced by Open-Cast method. Due to dumping of mine overburden has resulted in the Elimination of vegetation in the forest areas and specifically in the Western Ghats. Forest cover to the south of Mollem , the Verlem forest block in the Netravali sanctuary to the northeast of Cotigao is under pressure from manganese mining

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa…..:

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa….. 2. River System and Water. The extraction of Iron Ore has caused degradation and pollution of soil, water and air. The wells have gone dry because of the pumped water under the water table to extract the iron ore. It has led to soil erosion, loss of fertility of land, etc. The heavy rainfall in the monsoons leads to surface runoffs of heavy metals and siltation in fields and rivers.

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa…..:

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa….. 3 . Loss of Agriculture. Deposition of silt and runoffs of overburden piled up at the various mining sites have come down in the agricultural fields. Due to heavy rainfall in the monsoon season that has created problems for fertility of the soil. It has resulted in crop loss, fall in the agricultural produce, etc. 4. Loss of Wildlife. The destruction of forests in the mining regions that were previously inhabited by vast fauna in the region now has been threatened and has been forced to relocate in far interior regions of very dense forests and some have been killed as a result of mining activities.

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa…..:

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa….. 5. Climate Change. Due to deforestation and loss of forest cover essential for maintaining the temperature balance in the nature have been destroyed due to mining activity. Due to this there is rise in the temperature due to less forest cover present in the state.

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa…..:

Adverse effects of Mining in Goa….. 6. Water Pollution. The overburden and other materials from the pile up at the mining sites have flown down into the rivers. Solid particles run-off into water have created problems of survival and adaptation for various aquatic animals and altering the life at the sea bed and their habitat causing suffocation to flora and fauna in the sea. This is tragic condition of Mandovi and Zuari , estuaries as 90% of Goa’s mineral ore is transported through them.

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa:

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa There has been significant changes post mining ban in Goa. Air. There has been significant improvement in the quality of air since the ban, as the dust by mining trucks has reduced. With the ban on mining, the air pollution in the locations around mining operations has reduced greatly. There is relief to people with houses besides the roads, commuters on the roads and students and teachers in schools.

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa:

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa 2. Water. Due to mining the water bodies were polluted but since then, Post the ban on mining, there is an improvement in fresh water bodies and revival of springs was noticed. This is a positive sign and can only improve with the ban in place. 3. Noise. Post mining ban the people have reported that, they are enjoying the noise free environment and now can sleep peacefully at night with no trucks plying on the roads and also feel safe travelling on roads.

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa:

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa 4. Revival of rivers and wetlands. The rampant mining had destroyed a number of rivers and springs. Ever since the ban, springs that were earlier dry are gaining their flow. Fishermen along the Mandovi River have observed a rise in the catch of fish and clams. Since the ban on mining, the revival of rivers and wetlands has been reported with increase in fish catch in major rivers of Mandovi and Zuari . Marine life is spawning as the movement of barges has stopped.

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa:

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa 5 . Positive effects on vegetation, plantations and agricultural fields. There has been increase in production of cashew plantations as the amount of dust has reduced ever since the ban on mining. With the amount of dust reduced, farmers have begun cultivating their fields growing chilies and other pulses. Fields and plantations are giving produce in the form of crops and fruits.

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa:

Post Mining – Ban situation in Goa 6. Increase in wildlife sightings. Due to reduction in the noise due to traffic and mining operations, wildlife have been venturing farther than before and are sighted more often. In Sanguem , it has been reported that leopards and gaurs have been seen increasing their territory, so also the number of owl sightings have increased on a whole. A forest guard from Netravali reports that the wildlife are venturing out of the forest over a wider area as compare to before as there is no noise of trucks.

Conclusion:

Conclusion The Open-cast method is one of the destructive methods in the industrialized world. It should be replaced by a suitable method which is less harmful to the environment and surrounding forests and other biodiversity areas. Process of mining should follow proper legal procedures and should entrust the people that nothing illegal will be done. A mechanism should be established through which proper screening of mining process right from granting lease to the process of mining operation can be monitored in an impartial and transparent way.

Conclusion….:

Conclusion…. No mining activity should be allowed in close proximity to Protected Areas such as forests, Wild Life Sanctuaries and National Parks. Careful assessment should be done prior to granting of lease regarding environmental pollution levels and necessary clearance should be given only after satisfying all the required regulations. Mining and transportation of mineral ore should be carefully done to avoid any kind of harmful hazards and pollution being created that would adversely affect the well-being of the society.

References:

References Amarendra Das (2009, Regulatory Authority over Minerals: A Case for Review, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXXIV, No. X, pp. 105 – 109. Gopal Kadekodi (1979), Technological Choices in Iron Ore Mining, Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, Vol. XV, No. I , pp. 51-62 Jus. M.B.Shah (2010), (Chairman), Commission on Illegal Mining in Goa, Government of India, New Delhi, pp. 01-06. James P. Dorian (1989), The Development of India’s Mining Industry, Springer, Vol. XIX, No. II, pp. 145-160.

References…..:

References….. Ligia Noronha and Subramanya Nairy (2005), Assessing Quality of Life in a Mining region, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXX, No. I, pp. 72 – 78. Prof. Madhav Gadgil (2010), (Chairman), Commission on Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi, pp. 96-105. Ratnakar Bhengara (1996), Coal Mining Displacement, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXI, No. XI, pp. 647 – 649.

Web References:

Web References Ministry of Mines, Government of India (www.goadmg.gov.in/). Goa Environmental Society ( http://goaenvis.nic.in/mining.htm ). Director of Mines and Geology, Government of Goa ( www.goadmg.gov.in/ ). Down to Earth Website ( www.downtoearth.org.in/ ).

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