Mine Owners Trespassing into Government Property, Claims Goa NGO
PANAJI: A Goa-based NGO, which had successfully petitioned the Supreme Court against illegal mining today alleged that mine owners are occupying leases after the apex court order, amounting to trespassing into government property.
Goa Foundation (GF) Director Claude Alvares told reporters here that Supreme Court directives are clear that all leases not renewed after 2007 are invalid.
"Pursuant to the Supreme Court judgement, all leases have ceased to exist in the state and all lands on which such leases were granted have automatically reverted to their original owners including government land, communidades and private owners," he said.
Alvares said that mining companies continuing to occupy such leases "are subject to trespass complaints from original owners".
He said mining companies do not allow villagers to enter the leased land accusing them of "trespassing".
"Now we appeal to all villagers to freely enter mining leases and file police complaints accusing mining firms of trespassing, if they are stopped. Villagers from Quepem have have already begin filing counter complaints against mining companies," Alvares said.
He said that the Manohar Parrikar-led BJP government should take over mining operations in Goa, either on its own or through public auctions of the leases.